Increasing the noticeability of warnings: Effects of pictorial, color, signal icon and border
Young, Stephen Lee
Laughery, Kenneth R., Sr.
Master of Arts
Because of the importance of noticeability on subsequent comprehension and compliance to warnings, guidelines suggest increasing the salience or conspicuity of warnings. Surprisingly, little research has examined different methods of increasing the noticeability of warnings. The current research orthogonally manipulated four salience variables (pictorial, color, signal icon and border) to determine their effect on the salience of warnings. Subjects viewed 96 simulated alcohol labels on a computer, half with a warning and half without. Subjects indicated whether or not a warning was on the label and response latencies were recorded. The results showed that all four salience features produced significantly faster response times compared to their absence. More detailed analyses showed interactions between the four salience manipulations. These results demonstrate that salience features can enhance the noticeability of warning information. Moreover, it is clear that these salience manipulations interact with each other and that they should not be used indiscriminately.