Using an Inoculation Message Approach to Promote Public Confidence in Protective Agencies

Published in: Journal Of Applied Communication Research,Volume 44, Number 4 (2016), Pages 381-398. doi: 10.1080/00909882.2016.1225165

Posted on on July 03, 2019

by Bobi Ivanov, William J. Burns, Timothy L. Sellnow, Elizabeth L. Petrun Sayers, Shari R. Veil, Marcus W. Mayorga

Read More

Access further information on this document at Journal Of Applied Communication Research

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

This investigation tested the effectiveness of inoculation as a pre-crisis strategy in combating the effects of politically motivated violent acts. A four-phase experiment was conducted involving 355 national consumer panel participants. The findings indicate that inoculation can be an effective pre-crisis message strategy as it was successful in enhancing public beliefs in the ability of government agencies to prevent, and minimize the effects of, violent acts. This strategy also created a 'blanket of protection' that extended beyond the focal politically motivated attack event as it enhanced the confidence in government agencies to manage national crises in general. Inoculation was also effective in lowering the intensity of experienced fear evoked by the threat of violent attacks and it enhanced the ability of individuals to cope with the aftermath of a crisis.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.