The Effects of Pictorial Elements on Social Media Platforms: A Study Investigating which Pictorial Element can Effectively Influence Chinese Users Perception and Behaviors for Healthcare Information

Yubo Guo

Student thesis: Master thesis


To tackle the challenges of chronic disease and infectious disease, many pharmaceutical companies and international organizations have made a significant effort on prevention strategy worldwide. While social media platforms have been developed as a virtual channel to spread health-related information, the number of Chinese users increases rapidly and beyond the average level worldwide. Meanwhile, China still faces too much pressure from disease prevention. One crucial strategy for disease prevention is using social media platforms to capture people’s attention and change behaviors. To investigate what pictorial element can effectively influence people’s attention and behaviors, the author analyzes the effects of three types of pictorial elements: cartoons, regular pictures with medical professionals, and warning signs. The author applies an online survey with 211 participants and does a statistical analysis of the primary data by JMP software. The results reflect that cartoons have predominant traits that can be used to attract the user’s attention and change their behaviors on the website, to some extent. At the end of the research, the author not only illustrates the effect of cartoons from an academic perspective but also applies Elaboration Likelihood Model to discuss some practical implications in order to extract the reasons behind the effectiveness of warning signs, and illustrate some inspiration for designing a health-related advertisement for pharmaceutical companies from a managerial perspective.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Innovation in Health Care, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages91
SupervisorsSeidi Suurmets