A Randomised Controlled Trial to assess the impact of a cognitive dissonance intervention to alter attitudes and intentions to tan among young adults in Australia. (#202)
Aims Intentional sun tanning practices increase an individual’s risk for developing skin cancers due to the overexposure of Ultraviolet Radiation. This study assesses the use of a cognitive dissonance based intervention to alter individuals’ attitudes and intentions towards sun tanning. Methods Participants included 138 university students from the University of Canberra. They consisted of 109 females and 29 males, aged between 18 and 55 years, with a mean age of 24.6 years. Participants were randomly assigned to either the dissonance based intervention or a control condition. The intervention was delivered in an online format and included measures to assess for the impact of the intervention. These were derived from the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). Items assessed for tanning attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, and intentions to tan. Results This paper will report on results of between group comparisons between the “dissonance group” and “control group” for each of the TPB constructs. The results of a Multiple Regression Analysis assessing for predictors of intentions to tan will also be presented. Conclusions Results from this study will highlight the current status of sun tanning attitudes within an Australian student sample and further add to the body of literature that looks at interventions for decreasing tanning behaviours. Implications for interventions to reduce the high prevalence of skin cancer in Australia will be discussed.
- Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, Attitude, Intention, and Behavior: An Introduction to Theory and Research. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley