Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk 2012 Abstracts


In Her Own Voice: Women Scientists’ Identity Centrality and Perceptions of Workplace Climate • Jocelyn Steinke, Western Michigan University • Social identity theory offers a useful perspective for understanding women scientists’ perceptions of the gendered workplace cultures they encounter. This study of women scientist blogs found that women scientists regardless of whether they exhibited work identity centrality or family identity centrality experienced identity interference related workplace climate perceptions of job opportunities, workload, research funding, resources/equipment, networking opportunities, professional recognition and respect, and work-family balance. Implications for policy, practice, and social change are discussed.

Brochures as Potential Initiators of Change: Study of STD Brochures Available to Native American Youth • Marilee Long, Colorado State University; Donna Rouner, Colorado State University; Roe Bubar, Colorado State University; Irene Vernon, Colorado State University; Greg Boiarsky; Jennifer Walton, NEON • This study investigated whether STD prevention brochures (N = 61) available at six Indian Health Service facilities contained information that would encourage Native American youth and young adults to adopt STD prevention behaviors. The study drew upon three theoretical perspectives: health belief model, social norm concept, and elaboration likelihood model. Results indicate that the brochures will not be effective in helping cut the high rate of STD infections among Native American youth and young adults.

Can Media Literacy Change Children’s Attitudes and Preferences for Sugary Drinks and Fast Foods? • Yi-Chun (Yvonnes) Chen • The goal of this study is to contribute empirical research findings to the lack of intervention research in the area of childhood obesity. This study compared the efficacy of a knowledge-only curriculum (control) to a nutrition + media literacy enhanced curriculum (treatment) to promote desirable food choices among 3rd graders in a Title 1 School in Southwest Virginia (n=119).

Risk in risk: Exploring effects of multiple health risk situation, risk scale and risk origin upon public’s perceived health risk in news • Gang (Kevin) Han, Greenlee School/Iowa State University; Juyan Zhang, The University of Texas at San Antonio; Halli Trip, The University of Texas at San Antonio; Paul LeBlanc, The University of Texas at San Antonio • This study uses an experiment to examine the effects of three factors, namely multiple (two)-risk situation, media representation of risk scale and origin of risk, upon the transference of attribute salience of disease information from media to the audience. Agenda setting, second-level agenda setting, issue obtrusiveness and impersonal influence serve as the theoretical frameworks. Findings suggest that the proximity of health risk significantly affects perceived severity. Risk scale matters when diseases are of international origin.

More is less: Gatekeeping and coverage bias of climate change in US television news • Lee Ahern, Penn State; Melanie Formentin, The Pennsylvania State University • Past research supports the notion that Fox News is more dismissive of global warming than other news outlets. Ironically, Fox covers the issue much more often. A content analysis indicates that, overall, coverage of the issue relies on traditional news values such as political-elite cues and event magnitude. Fox, however, exhibited a news agenda biased toward excessive coverage, and co-opted the issue as an exemplar of “political correctness” and of the excess of political progressivism.

Glamorization or Cautionary Tale? Comparing Episodes of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant and the Mediating Role of Outcome Expectations on Pregnancy Beliefs and Aspirations • Autumn Shafer, Texas Tech University • In 2009, MTV began airing a documentary-style reality television show titled 16 and Pregnant. The series follows one pregnant teen per episode pre/post birth, and focuses on the consequences of teen pregnancy. Millions of teens nation-wide have seen the episodes of 16 and Pregnant, now in its third season. Without an empirical evaluation, it is not clear that such viewing is actually beneficial in shifting teens’ perceptions of the realities of teen pregnancy and parenting.

Synthetic Biology, Real Issues: U.S. Media Coverage of Synthetic Biology • Marjorie Kruvand • Synthetic biology is an emerging field that aims to design and build novel organisms by engineering man-made sequences of genes and assembling them in new combinations. While synthetic biology offers promise for developing cleaner fuels, creating pharmaceuticals, cleaning up pollutants, and fixing defective genes, it has been accompanied by environmental, ethical, and philosophical issues.

Seeking Information about Climate Change: Attention to News Media, Objective Knowledge, and Other Antecedents in an Augmented PRISM • Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University; Benjamin Detenber, Nanyang Technological University; Sonny Rosenthal, Nanyang Technological University; Edmund Lee, Nanyang Technological University • This study extends the planned risk information seeking model (PRISM). Survey data from 902 Singaporeans showed that past attention to climate change in the media significantly predicts objective knowledge, risk perception, and affective response related to climate change. In addition, objective knowledge was a weak predictor of seeking intention and was related positively to perceived seeking control and negatively to seeking-related subjective norms. These findings highlight the important role of media depictions of climate change.

A U.S. – China comparison of information-seeking intent about climate change • Z. Janet Yang, SUNY at Buffalo; Lee Ann Kahlor; Haichun Li, Beijing Normal University • We examined risk information seeking intentions related to climate change in U.S. and Chinese samples. Our model accounted for less variance in the Chinese sample and seeking intentions were less influenced by ecocentric attitude, risk perceptions, information insufficiency, and behavioral beliefs. Across the two samples, negative affect and subjective norms had similar impacts. Cultural differences are discussed. Overall, the model has cross-cultural validity and applicability in accounting for risk communication behaviors related to climate change.

Hard times in the heartland: How metropolitan Midwest newspapers cover rural health • Julie Andsager, University of Iowa; Petya Eckler, University of Iowa • Rural health is a public health problem, but little media research has studied it. This content analysis sought to determine how Midwestern, metropolitan newspapers define rural communities, people, and health concerns. Space and time frames were included in the analysis. The six newspapers published relatively few stories on rural health, but the health concerns accurately depicted rural problems. Amount of coverage was positively related to the states’ rurality. Rural residents were rarely included.

Use of Social Media by U.S. Hospitals: Benefits and Challenges • Petya Eckler, U of Iowa; Rauf Arif, University of Iowa; Erin O’Gara, U of Iowa • The study seeks to examine how U.S. hospitals use Facebook and Twitter. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 public relations representatives of U.S. hospitals which use both social media platforms. Nine themes emerged as dominant: incentives/benefits, challenges, overall response by the public, patient health, community engagement, social media as targeted communication, reaching various demographics, how social media is used, and health literacy.

Media Use and Interpersonal Communication Following a Disaster: The May 22, 2011 Tornado in Joplin, Missouri • Brian Houston • On May 22, 2011, “one of the deadliest tornadoes in the United States history” occurred in Joplin, Missouri (National Weather Service, 2011, p. ii). News coverage of disasters like the Joplin tornado have captured the American public’s attention more than any other issue; however, surprisingly little is known about how individuals living in a community affected by a major disaster use media and interpersonal communication sources following a disaster.

Testing The RISP Model: Cell Phone Users and The New “Possible” Risk of Brain Cancer • Ronald Yaros, University of Maryland • The primary goal of this study was to test and extend the risk information seeking and processing model (RISP) with an online pre and post survey about the World Health Organization’s “possible” category for brain cancer from cell phones. Analyses of participants’ responses to the 2011 WHO announcement included affective response (worry) and perceived information insufficiency associated with a common everyday activity such as cell phone use.

Mediating Trust in Terrorism Coverage • Kirsten Mogensen, Roskilde University • Mass mediated risk communication can contribute to perceptions of threats and fear of “others” and/or to perceptions of trust in fellow citizens and society to overcome problems. This paper outlines a cross-disciplinary holistic framework for research in mediated trust building during an acute crisis. While the framework is presented in the context of television coverage of a terror-related crisis situation, it can equally be used in connection with all other forms of mediated trust.

The climate change blame game: U.S. elite newspaper coverage of climate change • Z. Janet Yang, SUNY at Buffalo; Anthony Dudo; Lee Ann Kahlor; Ming-Ching Liang; Jenny Allen Catellier; Weiai Xu; Jonathan Mertel • This content analysis reveals the general pattern in elite U.S. newspaper coverage of climate change from 2007 to early 2011, which largely coincided with major international negotiations and report releases. Newspaper coverage primarily portrayed other countries, especially China, as contributing to climate change, but portrayed the U.S., as taking the responsibility for finding solutions for climate change, especially when no severe impact of climate change was mentioned in the articles.

Metaphors in Science Communication: The Influence of Metaphors on the Public Perception of Introduced Species • P. Sol Hart, American University; Lauren Krizel • Drawing from the literature on framing processes, the present study examines how using different metaphors to describe introduced species may influence both the public perception of these species and willingness to spend resources to remove them. Using an experimental investigation, this study finds that individuals are more concerned about introduced species when they are described with the metaphor of invaders compared to the metaphors of piggy backers or providers. Implications for science communication are discussed.

Resistance, ethnicity and health: Designing messages that reduce reactance for Hispanic and non-Hispanic diabetics • Liz Gardner, Texas Tech University • An experiment was conducted to determine the influence of ethnicity and two particular message strategies on psychological reactance felt by adult diabetics (N=111) in response to controlling health messages. This 2 (testimonial/informational) x 2 (other-referencing/self-referencing) x 2 (Hispanic/non-Hispanic) experiment, which also included message replication and order factors, tested the influence of the predictors in the context of messages encouraging healthy diet and exercise for adult diabetics.

Join the conquest: Developing a campaign to increase clinical research participation in North Carolina • Heidi Hennink-Kaminski, UNC-Chapel Hill; Jessica Willoughby; Dana McMahan, UNC-Chapel Hill • Clinical research is necessary to develop life-saving medications and treatments, but the clinical research enterprise in the United States is in a state of crisis, largely due to an inability to enroll enough participants in studies. This paper chronicles formative research and message-testing research associated with the development of a local, branded campaign to raise awareness and stimulate interest in clinical research participation, largely among healthy volunteers.

Barriers to Medical Research Participation as Perceived by Clinical Trials Investigators: Reaching out to Rural and African American Communities in XXXXXXXX • Andrea Tanner, University of South Carolina; Sei-Hill Kim; Daniela Friedman, University of South Carolina; Caroline Foster, University of South Carolina; Caroline Bergeron, University of South Carolina • Clinical trials help advance public health and medical research on prevention, diagnosis, screening, treatment and quality of life. Despite the need for access to quality care in medically underserved areas in the state of xxxxxxxx, clinical trial participation remains low among individuals in rural and African American communities.

A “Hopeful Transition to Parenthood”: Metaphoric Mobilization in Web Framing of Fertility Clinics • Orly Shachar, Iona College • Today, 96% of the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) member clinics have a web site and nearly 75% of member clinics have engaged in social media. As their presence on the web increases, fertility clinics’ promotional strategies have come under scrutiny. Paramount to their discourse is the language clinics employ on their homepages to frame their services and staff. This study draws on a top recommended clinics’ list, published by a leading parenting web portal.

The Effects of Graphic Messages Embedded in an Anti-smoking Videogame on Knowledge Improvement and Attitudes toward Smoking • Hyo Jung Kim, Nanyang Technological University; Joung Huem Kwon • This study explored the potential of serious videogames as new venues for effective health preventions. Researchers developed a videogame for anti-smoking prevention: Smokey Dude, a Flash based Super Mario kind of action-adventure game. Two versions of this videogame were created to examine the effects of graphic images, commonly adopted in anti-smoking prevention in traditional media in the context of a videogame.

Partisan Media and Healthcare: Conditional Indirect Effects of Ideology and Ambivalence on Structural Knowledge • Myiah Hutchens, Texas Tech University; Jay Hmielowski, Yale University; Michael Beam, Washington State University • Examining various media sources and their impact on knowledge has a long tradition in political communication. While the majority of research focuses on the impact of traditional media on factual knowledge, research is expanding to examine the role of a variety of forms of media and multiple dimensions of knowledge. Additionally, scholars’ focus is shifting from examining simple direct effects to understanding the process that better explains relationships between those variables.

The Effectiveness of the Entertainment Education Strategy in Sexual Assault Prevention: A Field Experiment in a College Campus Setting • Stacey Hust; Paula Adams; Chunbo Ren, Washington State University; Ming Lei, Washington State University; Weina Ran, Washington State University; Emily Marett, Mississippi State University • Sexual assault is a serious problem on college campuses across the United States, and first-year college students living on campus are particularly at risk for sexual assault. Among existing safety-related education programs that addressed sexual assault on college campuses, very few prevention programs have used mass media communication strategies designed to simultaneously entertain and educate, so that audience members choose to attend to the materials.

Postdoctoral Fellow • Predicting Cancer Information Seeking and Cancer Knowledge: The Role of Social and Cognitive Factors • Shelly Hovick, MD Anderson Cancer Center; Ming-Ching Liang; Lee Ann Kahlor • This study tests an expanded Structural Influence Model (SIM) to explore how social and cognitive factors contribute to cancer communication disparities. This study employed an online sample (N=1,007) of African American, Hispanic and White adults. The addition of cognitive predictors to the SIM substantially increased variance explained in cancer information seeking and cancer knowledge. Subjective norms and perceived seeking control were shown to be important mediators of the relationships between social determinants and communication outcomes.

The impact of HIV PSAs on attitudes, behavioral intentions and risk perception as a function of evidence form, argument quality, personal relevance and gender • Jueman (Mandy) Zhang, New York Institute of Technology; Makana Chock; Gina Chen; Valerie Schweisberger; Yi Wang • This study examined the combined effects of evidence form, argument quality, personal relevance and gender on attitudes towards and intentions of condom use with a primary and a non-primary partner as well as on risk perception at personal and societal level among heterosexually active young adults. Argument quality had the greatest impact on the attitude that condom use is effective regardless of partner type. Personal relevance enhanced the effective feeling regarding primary but not non-primary partners.

If they can’t help me, can I help myself? Institutional trust and self-efficacy in eco-label use • Lucy Atkinson, University of Texas at Austin; Sonny Rosenthal, Nanyang Technological University • This study employed latent factor interaction analysis to assess how environmental self-efficacy interacts with three forms of institutional trust—government, manufacturers, and advertising—to affect eco-label awareness and attention. Analyses revealed several main effects and two interactions. Government trust and eco-label awareness related negatively among high-efficacy respondents and positively among low-efficacy respondents. Advertising trust and eco-label attention related negatively among high-efficacy respondents and positively among low-efficacy respondents.

An Evaluation of Church-based Public Engagement on Nanotechnology • John Besley, University of South Carolina; Sang Hwa Oh, University of South Carolina • The current study explores the impact of public engagement on views about nanotechnology risks and benefits, decision-makers and knowledge. Using pre- and post-tests, it finds that, while views about decision-makers stayed stable, scores on a short knowledge quiz increased alongside both risk and benefit perceptions (n = 65). Additional multivariate analysis suggests that change in knowledge is associated with both positive changes in views about decision-makers’ fairness and post-intervention views about decision-makers.

Individual and Community Empowerment through a “Higher Power”: An Exploration of Rural Appalachian Women’s Communication about Health, Religion, and Empowerment • Lucinda Austin, Elon University • Through 41 qualitative, in-depth interviews with women residing in a small rural Appalachian community, this study questions how rural women make meaning of religion, empowerment, and health. This research study explores how religion affects women’s empowerment and how religion can be incorporated as an element of health communication campaigns to positively affect rural women’s everyday health activities.

How do Korean Senior Immigrants Use the Internet for Health Communication in the U.S.? • Jae Park, University of North Florida; Eric Haley, University of Tennessee • As long as the internet is the medium that delivers a tremendous amount of information, the number of senior citizen American immigrants that seek personal health information through the internet has rapidly increased. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten participants in order to answer the question, “How do Korean senior immigrants use the internet for health communication in the U.S.?”

Protection Motivation Theory and Trait Anxiety: Protecting Children’s Dental Health • Kimberly Walker, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis • Protection motivation theory of fear appeals and attitude change (PMT) has been used with adults to motivate them to protect their health over a wide range of behaviors. It has been used rarely with children. This experiment applied PMT to children to determine how PMT’s two constructs—threat and coping—worked best in a communication message to motivate them to floss.

Ten years of News Coverage of Nanotechnology in Taiwan: Toward a revised model of mediated issue development • Tsung-Jen Shih, National Chengchi University • The model of mediated issue development suggests that an issue can receive widespread media attention if it is discussed in the political arena, covered by political journalists, portrayed with dramatic terms, and had fewer competing issues in the environment. This study argues that, in addition to these factors, the inclusion of sources representing different stances in the news stories is also a necessary condition for an issue to catch both media and public attention.


Newspaper portrayals of climate-friendly plant-based food practices: The New York Times and The Australian • Radhika Mittal •This paper examines whether mainstream newspapers – The Australian and The New York Times – situate plant-based food practices in the context of anthropogenic climate change. A qualitative content analysis reveals distant, conflicting, compromising and insincere coverage of climate-friendly, plant-based food practices over a period of two years in the newspapers studied. The communication of risk is an important aspect of media engagement with scientific issues, especially when pertaining to urgent, global concerns such as climate change. This study points to a lacuna in these prominent papers’ coverage of an important measure in mitigating climate change.

Fitter with Twitter? The Direct and Efficacy-Mediated Effects of Reading, Writing, and Tweeting Health Messages Online • Rachel Young, University of Missouri School of Journalism • Online social network users regularly compose messages about health-related goals and post them to an audience of friends and followers. However, the psychosocial effects of writing and posting health messages via this platform have not yet been explored in depth. In a controlled experiment, this study examines the psychological and behavioral consequences, both direct and mediated by self-efficacy, of consuming, creating, and transmitting messages regarding physical activity via the social networking and microblogging site Twitter.

Patients or Polar Bears? Framing the Public Health Implications of Climate Change • Justin Rolfe-Redding, George Mason University • This study tested three framings of climate change—as an environmental, health, or security issue—with a spectrum of audience segments, with political advocacy (likelihood of writing the President) as the outcome variable. Results indicate these frames may actually have had the opposite effects from those expected. Moderately engaged segments were relatively less likely to engage in advocacy when viewing the health frame, and skeptical segments were relatively less active when viewing the security frame.

Examining News Coverage and Framing: The Case Study of Sea Lion Management at the Bonneville Dam • Tess McBride, Portland State University; cynthia coleman, portland state university • The current study examines how the construction of news stories frames information in ways that promote stakeholders’ platforms over the course of an environmental, scientific, social, political and legal conflict. Our examination of coverage of management of salmon populations and the encroachment of sea lions at Bonneville Dam in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States illustrates how the use of such frames as blame, solution and failure characterizes the mediated discourse.

Heightening uncertainty around certain science: Media coverage, false balance, and the autism-vaccine controversy • Graham Dixon, Cornell University; Christopher Clarke, Cornell University • To investigate how balanced reporting of the autism-vaccine controversy influences judgments of vaccine risk, we randomly assigned 327 participants to read news articles that presented either balanced claims both for/against an autism-vaccine link, anti-link claims only, pro-link claims only, or non-health related information. Readers in the balanced condition were less certain that vaccines did not cause autism and more likely to believe experts were divided on the issue. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of these findings.

Expression and Reception of Emotional Support Online: Mediators of Social Competence on Health Benefits for Breast Cancer Patients • Woohyun Yoo, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Kang Namkoong; Mina Choi; Dhavan Shah, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Michael Aguilar, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Stephanie Jean Tsang; Yangsun Hong, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dave Gustafson, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This study examines the mediating role of computer-mediated social support (CMSS) group participation, specifically the expression and reception of emotional support, in the relation between social competence and beneficial health outcomes for breast cancer patients. Participation in a computer mediated social support (CMSS) group was assessed by tracking and coding 237 breast cancer patients’ actual discussion participation and their expression and the reception of emotionally supportive messages.

Seeking information about complex science: The interplay of risk-benefit perceptions and prior knowledge • Leona Yi-Fan Su, 6087729806; Nan Li; Dietram A. Scheufele; Dominique Brossard; Michael Xenos • This study examines the roles of perceived risks and benefits and knowledge level in predicting scientific information seeking behaviors. The findings show that both perceptions of risks and benefits positively relate to information seeking. Moreover, respondents with higher level of factual knowledge in nanotechnology tend to seek more information when perceiving both high risks and benefits. However, respondents with lower knowledge levels are motivated to seek information when high benefits but low risks are perceived.

Using the Theory of Planned Behavior to Explain Green-Buying, Recycling, and Civic Engagement Behavioral Intentions • Youqing Liao; Sonny Rosenthal, Nanyang Technological University; Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University • Expanding on the theory of planned behavior (TPB), this study incorporates and examines the effects of media attention, media dependency, and perceptions of personal and impersonal risk on three types of proenvironmental behaviors: recycling, green-buying and civic engagement. Regression analysis of a nationwide cross-sectional survey of Singaporeans (N = 1,168) yielded support for the original TPB model. Media attention significantly predicted green-buying and civic engagement behaviors, while interpersonal communication was significantly associated with all three types of proenvironmental behavior.

Science News Media Use, Institutional Trust, and South Koreans’ Risk Perception of Genetically Modified (GM) foods • Sang Hwa Oh, University of South Carolina; Sei-Hill Kim • The current study explores the role of science new media in shaping trust in science-related institutions and the relationship between institutional trust and risk perception of emerging technology. Using a controversial science issue in South Korea, the use of genetically modified (GM) foods, we fist examine whether institutional trust is negatively related to perception of GM foods risks. We then analyze the relationship between three different types of science media use (newspapers, television, and the Internet) and institutional trust.

Health Self-Efficacy and Health Information Seeking: Exploring Relationships between Source Utilization, Source Trustworthiness, Health Behaviors, and Demographics • Ho-Young (Anthony) Ahn, University of Tennessee; Nathaniel Evans, University of Tennessee; Tatjana Hocke, James Madison University; Elizabeth Avery, University of Tennessee • This study analyzes results from a representative nationwide telephone survey with a random sample (n=300) to examine how demographic variables influence health self-efficacy and how self-efficacy relates to health information seeking, health behaviors, and trust in seeking health information from different sources. No demographics were found to exert a unique influence on health self-efficacy, but the findings suggest health self-efficacy can be useful to predict health behaviors, although not be the best predictor of health information source choice and trust.

Do Online Health-related Behaviors Lead to Being Helped? • Hui Zhang, Colorado State University • The current paper examines what online health information seeking behaviors predict oneself or another being helped by following online health information. Prior studies have primarily focused on evaluation of information quality, credibility of information sources, seekers’ trust in online information, and implication of people’s health status on the types of information they seek.

A dangerous neighbor: The news frames of the radiation effects from the Fukushima nuclear accident • Junga Kim, University of Florida; Bijie Bie • This paper examined how U.S. newspapers conveyed radiation-related health information in coverage of the Fukushima nuclear accident. News articles from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today were used in this study. A quantitative content analysis of 277 news articles and a qualitative framing analysis of 60 news articles were conducted.

A Look at Nature: The Visual Representation of Environmental Affairs on the Covers of Time • Bruno Takahashi, SUNY ESF; Mark Meisner, International Environmental Communication Association (IECA) • This study focuses on nature and environmental affairs on the cover of Time magazine. Through content and critical analyses, we reviewed the covers from 1920s to 2011. The results show a subtle trend towards increasing the representation of environmental affairs; an emphasis on dramatically visual issues, and an inattention to less spectacular ones; the difficulty of visually representing certain issues effectively; and the need for more attention to the potential incongruities between text and image.

Commenting on health: A framing analysis of user comments in response to health articles online • Avery Holton, University of Texas – Austin; Na Yeon Lee, University of Texas – Austin; Renita Coleman, University of Texas-Austin • Public health officials have continually urged journalists and other members of the news media to ease off health frames that focus on individuals and to promote broader societal frames instead. While some scholarly research has reinforced these pleas, none have examined the interplay between frames of health news coverage and resulting public comments. The current online environment invites such an analysis, allowing news organizations to post articles online and the public to comment on those articles.

Feast or famine: Acceptability of GM foods for prevention of plant disease • Joseph Steinhardt, Cornell University; Katherine McComas; John Besley, University of South Carolina • This study examines factors influencing public acceptability of genetically modified (GM) foods when situated within the context of preventing “late blight” plant disease, which caused the Irish Potato Famine and still results in substantial crop loss today. It also examines how the perceived fairness of decision-makers influences levels of support for GM foods. The results of a national survey (N=859) found that context mattered little in public acceptability of GM foods whereas perceived fairness predicted support.

To Green or Not To Green: A Cross-Cultural Study of the Impact of Product-Green Claim Congruity • Eunice Kim, University of Texas at Austin • This research examines the effects of product-green claim congruity on consumer responses in green marketing context. The results demonstrate that a product that is congruent with its green claim is evaluated more positively than an incongruent product. More interestingly, the product-green claim congruity effects are found to be more evident in the U.S. than in Korea, indicating the importance of product-claim congruity in Western cultures than in East Asian cultures.

News Media’s Framing of H1N1 and its Effect on Public Perception • Eun Hae Park, University of Missouri, Columbia • This study investigated the types of news frames used in reporting of the H1N1 virus, and also explored risk levels involved. A sample of three different newspapers—The New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today—was used. Framing categories included action, economic consequence, social impact, uncertainty and risk assessment. Risk assessment and social impact were the most commonly used frames.

For Fit’s Sake: A Norms-based Approach to Healthy Behaviors through Influence of Presumed Media Influence • Kaijie Ng; Grace Leong; Tiffany Tham; Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University • This study uses the influence of presumed media influence (IPMI) model as the theoretical framework to examine the normative influence of healthy lifestyle media messages on healthy lifestyle behavioral intentions. We included the differentiated social norms (i.e., proximal and distal injunctive norms), and personal norms variables in an extended model. Our results from a representative survey of 1,055 Singaporeans suggest that social distance and personal norms could be integrated into the IPMI theory.

The Effects of Press Freedom and Biotech Policy on Southeast Asian Newspapers’ Coverage of GM Crops • Ruby Asoro • Does a country’s degree of press freedom and national biotech policy influence its newspapers’ performance in reporting about GM crops? A content analysis of articles from six Southeast Asian newspapers reveals that a freer press status fosters more stories and use of frames while a precautionary biotech policy favors the citing of more sources. The diversity of sources, however, produced a more polarized coverage that tended to be negative toward this innovation.

Framing Responsibility in Climate Change: Ethnocentric Attribution Bias, Perceived Causes, and Policy Attitudes • Seung Mo Jang • Although the public’s perception that climate change is caused primarily by humans rather than nature is a key predictor of public engagement with the issue, little research has examined the way through which climate change communication can influence the perception of the cause. The present study seeks to explore how applicable existing research on attribution theory from social psychology is to public understanding of climate change.

From rangers to radio: The role of communication in the development of sense of place • Laura Rickard; Richard Stedman • While considerable scholarship in sociology and environmental psychology has demonstrated that the tenure and quality of our experiences, as well as the physical characteristics of the setting predict sense of place (SOP), less research has examined the role that communication about a place may play.

Concern about Climate Change: A Cross-National Analysis of Political, Cultural, and Media Influences • Heather Akin • This study analyzes the relationship among individual and country-level characteristics on individuals’ concerns about climate change in 24 nations. Using individual-level data on media use, education, and values and country-level data on political structure, economic status and environmental performance, this study analyzed these relationships using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM). Results indicate that characteristics of nations, particularly status as a democracy, national wealth, and environmental commitment significantly influence citizens’ concern about climate change. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Anatomy of a Gaffe: Examining Print and Blog Coverage of Michele Bachmann’s HPV Vaccine Controversy • Robert Zuercher, University of Kentucky; Adam Parrish, University of Kentucky; Elizabeth Petrun, University of Kentucky • This study explores the nuances of blog and print channel coverage of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s statement that the HPV vaccine caused mental retardation in a supporter’s daughter. The authors conducted a content analysis of both blogs and newspapers to examine differences in sourcing and commentary within blog and print coverage. Finally, a thematic analysis of identified content reveals how Bachmann was framed as a dishonest martyr who served to exacerbate a growing anti-vaccine movement.

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