Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Crystal Hoyt

Second Advisor

Dr. Melissa Ooten


With the current rise of maternal mortality rates in the United States, particularly among Black women, this project aimed to understand more about how the content of maternal health campaigns affects participants' desire to create action and change. We examined two factors, the type of persuasive evidence presented, anecdotal stories or statistical information, and whether the message discussed the racial disparities in maternal mortality or not. Using Cloud Research’s Connect Platform 500 survey participants were randomly assigned to read one of four public health campaigns, then asked to complete a series of questions relating to their support of combating maternal mortality, their emotions towards the issue, their (potential) actions they would take towards the reduction of maternal mortality, and what they demand of their leaders. The findings indicate that anecdotal evidence has a larger impact than statistical evidence on participants’ demanding change from their leaders and willingness to donate money towards this issue. The effectiveness of the anecdotal persuasive evidence is consistent with previous research. Additionally, the manipulation of the salience of racial disparities within the campaigns did not have strong effects. Future research should explore the role of heuristic thinking and developing connections with the audience in the observed effects of anecdotal evidence on participants’ demands for their leaders to take action on this issue and increased donations. Moving forward, health campaigns might consider featuring more anecdotal stories.