Analysis of Message Framing Regarding Active Shooter Training
Fay, Martha J.
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Since 1996, there have been 162 mass shootings that resulted in four or more deaths in the United States alone. One result has been an increase in active shooter training programs utilizing an informational approach and a fear-based approach for students and faculty members in schools. Previous studies have concluded that students who watched a reenactment training video versus an informational training video said they felt more afraid that an active shooting would occur on campus, while also feeling more prepared to respond to a shooting incident. This went against our research as ours shows that people felt more afraid after viewing the fear-based poster and didn’t show any significant difference in whether or not they would feel prepared after taking the advertised training. With the knowledge that both fear-based messaging and informational messaging are effective, we are looking to specifically study college students and their reaction to fear-based versus information-based active shooter training advertisements. Students participated in a twenty-two-question online survey via non-probability sampling, during which they were given one of two poster prototypes, one using the information approach and one using the fear tactic. We then analyzed the students’ responses and determined which tactic makes them more likely to commit to the training. This study provides a better understanding of message framing in regard to active shooter training.