Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Thomas H. Brandon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David J. Drobes , Ph.D.

Committee Member

Paul B. Jacobsen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen Salomon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joseph A. Vandello, Ph.D.


Smoking, Tailoring, Written interventions, Personalization, Expectations


This study was an effort to replicate and extend findings from our previous research, which suggested that the efficacy of tailored messages is influenced by high levels of content personalization within the message and by individuals trait expectancies about tailored interventions. We tested whether tailoring-related expectancies regarding smoking-cessation booklets could be altered via a brief expectancy-priming intervention, and whether this would enhance the impact of the cessation materials. A 2x2 factorial design crossed personalization level and expectancy priming on evaluation of the intervention content, readiness to quit smoking, cessation self-efficacy, cognitive processing, and progress towards quitting. Smokers (N = 205) were randomized to one of four cells in which they received a highly personalized (placebo tailored) or standard intervention. Participants in the priming conditions received a pre-intervention letter to enhance their expectations for either standard or tailored interventions. Post-priming expectancies were assessed 7-10 days later, and intervention booklets were subsequently mailed. Results demonstrated main effects of personalization on content evaluation, readiness to quit, cognitive processing, and behavioral progress towards quitting. That is, the personalized booklets were more efficacious than the standard booklets. A priming by personalization interaction on tailoring-related expectancies indicated that the expectancy manipulation was effective, and priming main effects were found for content evaluation, readiness to quit, and cognitive processing. Thus, enhancing smokers’ expectancies about their materials improved participants’ perceptions of the intervention and strengthened outcomes. Theoretical and applied implications are discussed.