Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Communication and Information



First Advisor

Dr. Donald W. Helme


The purpose of this research project was to develop a reliable and valid scale to assess the perceived message sensation value (PMSV) of print messages. The goal of this project was accomplished by conducting two studies. Study one involved collecting 397 undergraduate students’ responses to one high and one low sensation value anti-smoking message, while for study two, 284 undergraduate students’ responses to one high and one low sensation value anti-crystal meth message were collected. The results of the studies highlighted that the PMSV of a print message can be assessed using three dimensions (emotional arousal, novelty, and dramatic impact) and 12 items. Additionally, the newly developed PMSV scale for print messages remained stable across sensation-seeking levels and two different sets of anti-drug messages. Analysis of the data collected also provided support for the convergent, divergent, and predictive validity of the PMSV scale for print messages. Furthermore, from the data it can be inferred that PMSV is an important element that contributes to perceived message effectiveness and attitude towards the ad. The findings associated with this research project also suggest that both high and low sensation seekers preferred high over low sensation value print messages. Lastly, the implications of the PMSV scale for print messages were addressed.