Socioemotional selectivity theory (SST), an influential life-span theory, suggests that older adults prefer persuasive messages that appeal to emotionally-meaningful goals over messages that appeal to knowledge-related goals, whereas younger adults do not show this preference. A mixed-factorial experiment was conducted to test whether older adults (≥65 years) differ from younger adults (25–45 years) in their preference for emotionally-meaningful appeals over knowledge-related appeals, when appeals are clearly developed in line with SST. For older adults we found the expected preference for emotionally-meaningful appeals for cancer centers but not for grocery stores and travel organizations. As expected, in most cases, younger adults did not show a preference. Implications for SST-based communication research and for practice are discussed.
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The aim of our study was to provide an overview of intervention guidelines on how to address patients’ practical needs for support in expressing instrumental concerns and emotions regarding medical, psychosocial and practical topics.
Six focus groups of cancer patients and survivors (N = 39) were organised. An interview guide was created that consisted of three topics: (a) concerns, (b) needs for support, and (c) a Concern Prompt List. Using the framework method, the transcripts were coded and analysed in Atlas T.I.
Patients prefer to receive practical and emotional support, help with preparation, prompts/cues, instructions on how to perform the behaviour (i.e., express their concerns or emotions), feedback, a different structure for the consultation and tailoring. Most of these techniques should preferably be delivered via interpersonal communication. Needs sometimes differ for instrumental concerns and emotions. Only some needs for support were exclusively related to instrumental concerns or emotions. The typical needs for support were not solely linked to the medical, psychosocial and practical topics.
Different needs to express instrumental concerns and emotions throughout the disease trajectory are categorised. These needs provide input for developing interventions to support concern expression.
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This qualitative interview study explores age differences in perceptions of chatbot communication in a customer service context. Socioemotional selectivity theory and research into technology acceptance suggest that older adults may differ from younger adults in motivations to use chatbots, and in perceived complexity and security of this chatbot communication. The in-depth interviews with older adults (54–81 years; N = 7) and younger adults (19–30 years; N = 7) revealed that both groups were aligned in their prime motivation: They used chatbots to get their (simple) customer queries answered in a fast and convenient manner. However, they seemed to differ in their need for additional
human contact. In both age groups, there were participants for whom it was easy to communicate with chatbots, and the two groups were united in their frustrations when the chatbot did not understand and answer their queries. They were aligned as well in the difficulty they experienced in assessing the security of the chatbot. The two age groups may differ in the factors that contribute to perceived ease of use and perceived security. Directions for future research and implications for the implementation of chatbots for customer service are discussed.