WHERE TO TURN? THE INFLUENCE OF INFORMATION SOURCE ON BELIEF AND BEHAVIOR
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Where to turn? The influence of information source on belief and behavior

 

When individuals face risks, they seek information to reduce uncertainty. This study examines where people turn for information and the effects this information seeking has on belief and behavior. Genetically, modified organisms pose a perceived environmental and health risk to society, creating worry and fear (negative affect) in many individuals. Though many people turn to personal sources, such as friends and family, for risk-relevant information, others turn to the news. Using structural equation modeling, the current research is able to analyze direct and indirect effects to construct a model of risk information seeking that differentiates these two forms of information seeking behavior. The results are intriguing, as personal information seeking and news information seeking have significantly different impacts on policy belief and avoidance behavior.

Keywords: Information seeking, risk communication, negative affect, RISP model, social capital

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