UBC Undergraduate Research

Financially Stressed? You’re Covered! : Using Emotional Support in Financial Advertisements Jeong, Emily; Lee, Austin; Li, Bowen; Proulx, Jason; Yen, Aaron


University students often struggle with financial hardships. Yet, UBC enrolment services professionals report strikingly low student attendance rates for their financial education programs. One factor that may influence attendance rates for students with high financial stress is how receptive they are to advertisements promoting these programs. It is possible that for students under considerable financial distress, advertisements that provide emotional support may be more appealing and increase the likelihood that students will attend a workshop in the future. To test this, we recruited 140 UBC students to read one of two different advertisements: the current informational support-based advertisement or a modified emotional support-based version of the advertisement. Afterward, participants rated how appealing they found the message and how likely they would attend a financial workshop after reading the message. For students under high financial stress, there were no differences in message appeal. However, these same financially stressed students reported a greater likelihood of attending a workshop after reading the emotional support-based advertisement as compared to the current, informational support-based advertisement. Our study emphasizes the importance of conveying emotional support to students with high financial stress to help increase the likelihood that students’ will access financial services at UBC. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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