The action suited to the word? Use of the framework of risk information seeking to understand risk-related behaviors.

Milou Kievik, E.F.J. ter Huurne, Jan M. Gutteling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although a growing body of risk communication research focuses on how people process risk information, one question that is overlooked is how the seeking of information contributes to behavioral adaptation toward the risk issue. How are people’s behavioral responses to risks affected by the search for risk information? Building on the Framework of Risk Information Seeking (FRIS), this paper reports on two studies that focus on the experimental testing of several of the basic FRIS assumptions. In study 1, a 2 (involvement: high vs. low) × 2 (risk perception: high vs. low) between-subjects experiment was conducted to test the assumption that higher levels of involvement and risk perception stimulate the intention to seek additional risk information as well as the actual risk information. Study 2 is a partial replication of study 1. In study 2, a 2 (involvement: high vs. low) × 2 (fear appeal: present vs. absent) × 2 (response efficacy: high vs. low) between-subjects experiment was conducted to test how varying the levels of involvement, risk perception, and response efficacy influence actual and intended information seeking, as well as the intention to adopt risk-mitigating actions. The results showed that the high-involvement, high-risk perception, high-response efficacy group was most likely to actually seek information and make behavioral changes. The results are in accordance with basic FRIS assumptions. Implications for risk communication are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-147
JournalJournal of risk research
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • IR-80558
  • METIS-289237

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