Social referencing ‘‘Mr. Yuk’’: the use of emotion in a poison prevention program

Pooley, Amanda J., and Fiddick, Laurence (2010) Social referencing ‘‘Mr. Yuk’’: the use of emotion in a poison prevention program. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35 (4). pp. 327-339.

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Objective: To assess whether disgust, the emotion depicted on poison control "Mr. Yuk" stickers, conveys an age-appropriate message to young children.

Methods: Two preliminary studies (both N = 48) were conducted with adults to assess what facial expressions of emotion they associated with child and adult violations of precautionary rules. Subsequently, 20 3-year-olds and 35 4-year-olds were tested on age-appropriate scenarios to determine what facial expressions of emotion they associate with accidental poisonings.

Results: Adults associated violations of precautionary rules, regardless of whether they involved children or adults and physical injury or accidental poisonings, with facial expressions of fear, not disgust. The study conducted with children indicated that they likewise anticipated facial expressions of fear in response to accidental poisonings.

Conclusions: The disgust displayed on Mr. Yuk stickers does not appear to convey a valid emotional message, regardless of whether the stickers are used for preventive or educational purposes.

Item ID: 9135
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: accidents and injuries; children; disgust; facial expression of emotion; fear; Mr Yuk; prevention control; social referencing
ISSN: 1465-735X
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2010 03:35
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 40%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111704 Community Child Health @ 40%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920407 Health Protection and/or Disaster Response @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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