Determinants of Seeking and Avoiding Risk-Related Information in Times of Crisis

Jan M. Gutteling, Pieter Walter de Vries

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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This research is designed to provide insight into the psychological (e.g., threat appraisal or coping appraisal) and other determinants (e.g., information quality judgments or demographics) of risk information seeking or avoidance in times of an acute risk, as part of the process of increasing public resilience through adherence to risk mitigating advice. Data were collected via telephone interviews. A specialized agency interviewed 1,000 Dutch citizens, randomly confronted with one of eight fictitious, but realistic, acute risk and emergency situations. Results indicate that information seeking in an acute situation is anticipated by a less elaborate set of predictors (age and risk perception) than information seeking in a nonacute situation (age and risk perception, as well as educational level and social norm). Although risk perception is a predictor for risk information seeking, its predictive value for acute-risk-related behavior, as one might have assumed based on theories such as protection motivation theory (PMT) or the extended parallel process model (EPPM), appears to be limited. Implications for risk communication are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-39
JournalRisk analysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • IR-101961
  • METIS-318678


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