Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk 2013 Abstracts

Open Competition

The Impact of Health News on the Social Stigma of Suicide • Soontae An, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea; Hannah Lee, Ewha Womans University • The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of health news content on the stigma of suicide. In particular, this study tested whether the onset controllability and group categorization had a causal effect on peoples’ stigma toward suicide. Results showed that stigma scores were lower for those who read an article explaining the causes of suicide as uncontrollable than those who read an article explaining the causes as controllable. Also, lower stigma scores were observed for those who read an article depicting suicidal people as in-group, compared to those who read an article depicting suicidal people as out-group. Furthermore, stigma scores were the highest for those exposed to an article with the out-group categorization combined with the controllable causes of suicide.

What’s cooking at community newspapers? Gain, efficacy, and goal-framing in nutrition news • Julie Andsager, University of Iowa; Li Chen; Stephanie Miles, University of Iowa; Christina C. Smith, University of Iowa; Faryle Nothwehr, University of Iowa • Obesity rates are high in the rural U.S. Nutrition news in community newspapers may provide helpful or detrimental information to readers. This content analysis of a random sample of nutrition stories from 10 newspapers was guided by concepts from social cognitive, prospect, and goal-framing theories. Results suggest that local sources provided the most content, often food promotion. Efficacy was seldom included. Health improvement, benefits, and gain frames were moderately correlated, suggesting subtle distinctions among them.

Framing of the Global Influenza A (H1N1) Pandemic as a Local Issue in Singapore • Iccha Basnyat, National University of Singapore; Seow Ting Lee, National University of Singapore • This study explored how the global influenza A (H1N1) pandemic was framed as a local health issue, in Singapore. First, the government issued influenza A (H1N1) press releases were examined to identify what kinds of public health information were disseminated. Second, news articles were examined to explore how the global pandemic was framed as a local event through subsequent news coverage, providing a unique exploration of the relationship between public health communication and news media. The analysis found two major themes: battle metaphors and protection versus threat. Thematic analysis revealed that the newspaper mediated the information flow; amplified a positive tone for the government response; and emphasized individual responsibility; to locally construct H1N1 pandemic as a national effort. pandemic.

Making Sense of Medical Pluralism: Biomedical and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practices among Elderly Chinese Singaporean Women • Leanne Chang, National University of Singapore; Iccha Basnyat, National University of Singapore • A dichotomous divide exists between biomedicine, considered to be part of mainstream practices and traditional Chinese medicine, considered to be culture-specific. In practice, the selection of different medical practices is situated within historical contexts and cultural meanings. This study examined elderly Chinese-speaking women’s practice of medical pluralism in Singapore. Through in-depth interviews of thirty-six participants, the study explored elderly women’s negotiation of health choices and their usage of both medical systems influenced by the interactions of structural constraints, culture meanings of health, and agency. Findings suggest that elderly Chinese Singaporean women practiced medical pluralism to navigate between the two medical systems. Medical pluralism is integrative in simultaneous practice through which cultural participants make sense of and continue the usage of traditional medical practices alongside the biomedical system.

Teenagers’ Prosocial / Antisocial Reacting Strategies towards Cyberbullying in SNS • Bolin CAO • This study focuses on teenagers’ prosocial/ antisocial coping strategies when confronting cyberbullying activities in SNS, taking gender, pervious experiences as victim, social interaction and cognitive support from others into careful considerations. Based on the 622 samples from the Pew Internet project, the present study has accordant finding in gender difference in coping strategies towards cyberbullying, that girls conduct more prosocial behaviors than boys. However, seldom research discusses teenagers’ previous experiences as victim, rare studies regarded cyberbullying and being cyberbullied as a possible interaction process either. This paper argues that teenagers’ previous experiences as victim may have a reciprocity effect that they tend to conduct antisocial behavior to others as what they have suffered, or on the other hand, they may have more empathy to the victims and conduct more prosocial behaviors. Derived from these two competing logical derivations, this study finds that teenagers tend to perceive others conduct more antisocial behaviors than themselves; girls are more likely to conduct prosocial behaviors and no gender difference in conducting antisocial behaviors. Furthermore, empathy plays an important role in the relationship between young girls’ previous experience as victims and prosocial behaviors; whereas reciprocity plays a role in the relationship between young boys’ previous experience as victims and antisocial behaviors. In addition, cognitive support has positive effect in increasing teenagers’ prosocial behavior instead of decreasing teenagers’ antisocial behavior, but social interaction with friends online has no effect on both prosocial and antisocial coping strategies towards cyberbullying activities in SNS.

The Press, Social Actors and Suicide: Press Coverage of and Public’s Attitudes toward Suicide • Kuang-Kuo Chang • This study reviewed the current plight of suicide facing Taiwan, conducted a nationwide survey of general public, and content analyzed how four major local newspapers had covered the issue. Findings could broaden the theoretical scope of health communication with the application of social determinants in studying other public health and societal problems. Outcomes also carry significant pragmatic implications for journalists and their audiences, policymakers, and other major stakeholders.

Does Inoculating Negative and Balanced Evaluative Media Literacy Interventions Influence Adolescents’ Processing of Entertainment Narratives? • Yvonnes Chen, University of Kansas • This study investigated whether inoculating negative or balanced evaluative media literacy interventions prior to entertainment narratives exposure would impact adolescents’ processing of anti-alcohol abuse entertainment narratives. A quasi-experiment with 171 adolescents ages 12-18 (M=14.03) found that a balanced evaluative approach increased adolescents’ perceived similarity and emotional engagement, whereas negative evaluative my increase counterarguing as narrative involvement was increased as a result of receiving negative evaluative lessons. Implications for health promotion program planners were discussed.

Evaluating Key Health Decision-making Benchmarks through General Media Literacy Outcomes to Improve Health Program Planning • Yvonnes Chen, University of Kansas; Erica Austin, Wasington State University • Health-promoting media literacy literature rarely discusses how to incorporate media literacy components in program planning. Two separate studies with cross-sectional surveys focusing on alcohol and tobacco behaviors found that emerging adults’ advertising skepticism and critical media thinking significantly predicted alcohol and tobacco desirability and identification, both of which have been linked to behavioral choices. Implications of integrating media outcomes into theory-based media literacy interventions are discussed to advance the planning of future health promotion programs.

Overcoming the Effects of “Falsely Balanced” Media Coverage of Health Risks through Attention to Context • Chris Clarke, George Mason University; Graham Dixon, Cornell University; Brooke W. McKeever, University of South Carolina • Risk controversies often feature debates about which conclusions are supported by scientific evidence. Research on communicating risk via news media has focused on the effects of false balance: when an issue supported by evidence is presented alongside others without support. Our study of the autism-vaccine controversy suggests that providing context (i.e., evidence points to no connection) informs perceptions of certainty about this issue and beliefs about a scientific consensus. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Narratives and the Environment: The Influence of Values and Message Format on Risk Perceptions • Kathyrn Cooper • This study examined how media formats and individual differences interacted to influence risk perceptions about environmental issues. In 3 (news, documentary, fictional entertainment) X 2 (hydraulic fracturing, genetically modified organisms) mixed between-and-within subject experiment, participants (N=133) completed a pretest survey, viewed a video, and completed a posttest survey. Results indicate that the impacts of transportation, identification, and ideology on risk perceptions are mediated by affect. Documentary films were the most effective condition, regardless of ideology.

Risky Business? How Risk vs. Benefit Frames Influence Consumer Attitudes toward Nanotechnology Applications • Lauren Copeland, University of California Santa Barbara; Ariel Hasell, University of California Santa Barbara • How the news media frame scientific issues influences public opinion towards emergent technologies. Research shows that news media in the U.S. portray nanotechnology favorably. Moreover, people who follow the news are more likely to be receptive to nanotechnology applications. However, not much is known about how receptiveness varies across consumer products. In this study, we use a survey experiment embedded in an original, nationally representative U.S. survey to examine consumer attitudes towards products with nanotechnology. We find that people exposed to the risk frame are significantly less willing to purchase products with nanotechnology than are people exposed to the benefits frame. We also find significant effects for age, income, gender, presence of children in the home, ideology, social trust, and environmental concern. Finally, we find that people who use social media for news and information are significantly more willing to purchase products with nanotechnology. Additional findings and implications are discussed.

The role of framing in the verbal and visual reporting of health risks. An overview of previously identified frames and an empirical assessment of their occurrence • Viorela Dan, Free U of Berlin; Juliana Raupp • This study aims to show how framing theory can contribute to the analysis of mediated health risk information. A special emphasis is placed on visual risk information. A critical overview of media frames in relation to health risks is followed by an investigation into their occurrence in the coverage surrounding a recent E.coli outbreak. We show that verbal frames can be conveyed through visuals, too. Interesting correlations between frames conveyed verbally and visually are discussed.

HIV/AIDS and recurrent frames as patterns of information in meaning-making: A systematic review of empirical studies • Viorela Dan, Free U of Berlin; Renita Coleman • In communication research, HIV/AIDS is frequently investigated by using framing or related theories. The objective of this article is to provide a classification of frames in the HIV/AIDS scholarly discourse and, more importantly, to assess the extent to which this literature taps the full potential of framing theory to describe, explain and predict mass communication processes. To this end, 38 carefully selected empirical studies that explicitly relate to frames in the context of HIV/AIDS were subject to an exploratory textual analysis. Eight macro frames pertaining to HIV/AIDS (medical-scientific, conflict, gain/ loss, public health, responsibility, political-legal, morality, and economic consequences), three micro frames pertaining to people living with HIV/AIDS (carrier, victim, survivor) and four micro frames concerning HIV/AIDS (lethal disease/threat, preventable disease, intentional effort to harm, living positively) have been identified across these studies. Our results also indicate that most studies analyzed here (1) were qualitative and inductive, (2) critically analyzed the frames identified, (3) linked the profession and the academe. Moreover, they were (4) largely focused on the verbal channel of communication and (5) did not position themselves in relation to framing research (episodic vs. thematic; micro vs. macro frames, etc). Nonetheless, most studies examined (6) the role of culture and ideology, but not of power, nor of and intentionality in framing. Using framing to its fullest might provide a better understanding of the way HIV/AIDS and people living with it are described and portrayed in campaigns and media, and how this affects audiences and policy.

Cross regional differences in HIV/AIDS prevalence in Tanzania: How socioeconomic and cultural contexts affect perceived individual and group efficacy • James Kiwanuka-Tondo, 9195132274; Sarah Merritt, American University; Katerina Pantic, North Carolina State University; Maria De Moya, North Carolina State University • This study analyzes the cultural and socioeconomic differences that influence the HIV/AIDS prevalence in two neighboring regions in Tanzania with one of the lowest and the highest infection rates in the country: Singida (2.7%) and Iringa (15.7%). From a social cognitive theory perspective, the impact of regional differences on group and individual perceived efficacy was evaluated. Four groups in each region (eight in total) were conducted, providing insights into the factors that affect sexual behavior, and thus, HIV/AIDS prevalence. Additionally, public perception and receptiveness of existing prevention campaigns was garnered. Implications for future research and HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns are discussed.

Weather-Risk Information Seeking and Processing: Synthesizing the RISP Model and Applying it to Weather Risks • Julie Demuth, Colorado State University and NCAR • The Risk Information Seeking and Processing (RISP) model has been applied to study many health, environmental, and industrial risks. Weather risks have scarcely been examined, yet the model offers great potential for understanding people’s seeking and processing of weather risk information. This paper begins with a synthesis of empirical RISP studies to date, including its operationalization and findings. It then proposes ways that the RISP model can be applied and extended to study weather risks.

Increasing Accessibility of Medicaid and Medicare Health Plan Report Cards • Lisa Duke-Cornell, University of Florida; Robyn Goodman, and Adriane Jewett, University of Florida • This study is part of a larger health communication project to provide health plan report cards to state Medicaid and Medicare members. The goal is to present quality of care report card results so that members can make more informed, confident decisions about their health care plans. Focus groups on Medicare and Medicaid members’ interpretations of proposed health plan report cards were conducted to enable a more patient-centered approach to conveying this health care information to people in vulnerable populations.

The power of maps to (mis)communicate: A case study of forecaster’s versus the public’s interpretation of hurricane track maps • Gina Eosco, Cornell University • This study set out to compare forecaster’s communicative objectives of a hurricane track map to the public’s understanding of it. The goal was to explore areas of shared meaning, as well as miscommunications, and why they occurred. This study shows that although some participants share a general scientific meaning of the map, many others were misguided by the power of design features not present, overemphasizing the features that were present, as in drawn boundaries or symbols, and were confused by the lack of labeling. The paper discusses the forecasters lack of awareness of the messages they are conveying when choosing to place or not place a symbol on a map. The decision to convey certain symbols, and yet omit others, shows the power that forecasters have in communicating scientific details. With the goal of the public having an understanding of the map, however, forecasters must pay more attention to these finer graphic design details.

A Threatening Space? Stigmatization and the Framing of Autism in the News Media • Laura Farrell, North Dakota State University; Avery Holton; Julie Fudge • This present study advances current scholarship about portrayals of autism in a key outlet of public information—news media—considering ways in which these outlets frame and stigmatize the diagnosis. The findings here suggest that the news media may be a threatening space for autism, particularly through the perpetuation of stigmatic cues in over two thirds of news coverage of autism, coupled with the selection of certain news frames. Contributions and future research are discussed.

A Content Analysis of Websites Promoting Cures for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, an “Incurable” Disease • Dennis Frohlich, University of Florida; Kristina Birnbrauer, University of Florida • Inflammatory bowel disease, which can take the form of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, is said by most doctors to be incurable, though surgery is sometimes considered a cure for ulcerative colitis, but not Crohn’s disease. However, because of the unpredictable nature of the disease, and the devastating symptoms it can have, many people are driven to search for cures online, despite what their doctors may recommend. This qualitative content analysis looks at the top search results in Google and Bing for IBD cures. The websites generally fall into two categories: those that say no cure exists, and those that advocate for specific cures. The following themes were pulled from the data: an inconsistent definition of a cure; an anti-Western medicine bias; medical disclaimers that are ignored by websites that feature them; a lack of clarity in cure regimens; and inter-article contradictions. Implications for professional practice are discussed.

Policy support for and civic engagement with lung cancer issues: A moderated-mediation analysis of the impact of frames, psychological reactance, and emotional responses • Lesa Hatley Major, Indiana University; Jessica Myrick, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • According to the National Cancer Institute, lung cancer kills more than 160,000 Americans every year. Smoking is largely to blame, and individual changes in behavior could greatly reduce cases of lung cancer; however, other factors out of the control of individuals are also to blame, such as environmental factors or genetics. In addition to individual changes, changes in public policy could contribute to reducing incidence of lung cancer. This study uses an experiment (N=137) to test how the framing (both gain/loss frames and episodic/thematic frames) of news stories about lung cancer interacts with trait levels of psychological reactance to support for certain public policies and civic engagement intentions. Through a moderated mediation analysis, the authors propose that emotional reactions along with interactions between frames and trait reactance impact policy support and intentions to engage. The authors suggest future direction for research based on these findings.

Climate Change in the Newsroom: Journalists’ Evolving Standards of Objectivity When Covering Global Warming • Sara Shipley Hiles, Missouri School of Journalism; Amanda Hinnant, Missouri School of Journalism • This study investigated how experienced U.S. environmental reporters view the professional norm of objectivity when covering climate change. In-depth interviews (N = 11) revealed a paradox: Most still profess belief in objectivity even as they reject or redefine it. It emerged that journalists should use objective practices and not reveal their own biases, including advocating for the environment. Additionally, participants have radically redefined “balance” now advocating a “weight-of-evidence” approach (Dunwoody, 2005) based on scientific consensus.

Health Journalist Role Conceptions • Amanda Hinnant, Missouri School of Journalism; Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri • Using interview methodology (N = 17), this research examines the role conceptions of U.S. health journalists. Asking journalists from different types of media to define their roles as they relate to public health, the environment, and news values reveals the external demands on journalists as well as internal processes. This paper inventively combines both normative and routine role conceptions as defined by two different sources in order to best capture the nuances of health journalism.

Expanding the Theory of Planned Behavior: The Effects of Media Dependency and Communication on Proenvironmental Behavioral Intentions • Shirley Ho; Youqing Liao; Sonny Rosenthal • Expanding on the theory of planned behavior, this study examines the effects of media dependency, traditional media attention, Internet attention, and interpersonal communication on two types of proenvironmental behaviors—green-buying and environmental civic engagement. Regression analysis of a nationally representative survey of adult Singaporeans (N = 1,168) indicated that attitude, perceived behavioral control, media dependency, traditional media attention, and interpersonal communication were positively associated with green-buying. Notably, traditional media attention moderated the influence of media dependency on green-buying behavior. In addition, attitude, descriptive norms, media dependency, Internet attention, and interpersonal communication positively predicted civic engagement. Findings suggest the importance of communication factors in the adoption of the two proenvironmental behaviors.

Exemplifying Risk: Contrast versus assimilation effects in risk perception and vaccination intentions • Lynette Holman, Appalachian State University; Sherine El-Toukhy; Rhonda Gibson, School of Journalism and Mass Communication — UNC-Chapel Hill • This study was a 2 (type of disease — high susceptibility/low severity, low susceptibility/high severity) x 3 (exemplar condition — extreme, moderate, neutral) factorial between-subjects experimental design that sought to determine whether an exemplar of extreme loss (featuring an individual who died due to an infectious disease) or moderate exemplar (featuring an individual who recovered from an infectious disease) is more likely to trigger contrast or assimilation effects in individuals exposed to a health communication web page. Limited contrast effects were found for responses to a low-severity disease, whereas traditional exemplar assimilation effects were found for some responses to a high-severity disease. Overall, there were strong differences in how students responded to the two types of diseases, an issue that has not been addressed in most exemplification research.

Look who is warning: Individual differences in motivation activation influence behaviors during disasters • Seoyeon Hong, University of Missouri; Eun Park; Glen Cameron, University of Missouri • This study investigated individual differences in responses to disasters based on participants’ motivational reactivity and ethical ideology. Motivational reactivity was measured using the motivational activation measure (MAM), which assesses individual differences in appetitive and defensive system activation. Participants (N = 240) answered survey questions about how they would respond to natural disasters or emergency situations. Responses were analyzed using regression. We found that (1) participants with higher defensive activation scores were more likely to report they would broadcast warnings using text, voice calls, or social networking sites during a disaster situation, (2) high appetitive system activation is associated with high ethical relativism, (3) high defensive system activation is associated with high ethical idealism, and (4) individuals’ personal moral philosophy moderates the effects of MAM score on intention to warn others. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

Does Narrative Have Text Hegemony over Message Frame? Testing the Integrated Effects of Narrative and Message Frame. • Yangsun Hong, University of Wisconsin-Madison • A health campaign message often contains multiple message strategies that combine various categories (e.g., gain-framed narrative message and loss-framed statistical evidence). When the multiple strategies are used in an individual message, the message may produce somewhat different effects from when a single strategy is used. A health campaign message containing multiple strategies may either intensify or diminish the effect of the message on promoting protection behaviors. This study investigates the potential interplay of two combined persuasive message strategies, narrative transportation and message frame, in an individual skin cancer campaign message.

Social Media & Disasters: A Framework for Social Media Use in Disaster Response and Research • J. Brian Houston, University of Missouri; Joshua Hawthorne, University of Missouri; Mimi Perreault, University of Missouri; Eun Park; Rachel Davis, University of Missouri • Through comprehensive literature review a framework of disaster social media is developed that can facilitate the development of disaster social media tools and the scientific study of disaster social media effects. Disaster social media users in the framework include individuals, communities, organizations, government, and media. Fifteen distinct disaster social media uses were identified, ranging from prepare and receive disaster preparedness information and warnings prior to the event to (re)connect community members following a disaster.

The Framing of Online HPV Vaccine Information • Heewon Im • This study examined how various non-news sources’ have framed online human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine information. A content analysis demonstrated that nonstakeholders of the HPV vaccine and activist groups are the most prevalent HPV information providers. Among various health communication frames, both STD and cervical cancer were frequently used as the disease-outcomes, and most sources targeted non-parents, and the target of HPV vaccine was framed for sexually inactive males and females. Among the attribute frames, positive and negative attributes of safety and effectiveness of the vaccine among the attribute frames, and the individual responsibility frame were the most frequently used frames in online HPV vaccine information. Among sources, government agencies provided more disease outcomes than nonstakeholders and activist groups, and nonstakeholders and government agencies tended to target both genders, whereas activist groups and health care providers focused more on females.

The Cancer Information Overload (CIO) Scale: Establishing Predictive and Discriminant Validity • Jakob Jensen, University of Utah; Nick Carcioppolo, Miami University; Andy King, University of Illinois; Courtney Scherr, Purdue University; Christina Jones, Purdue University; Jeffrey Niederdeppe, Cornell University • Objective: Survey data suggests that approximately three-fourths of adults are overwhelmed by cancer information – a construct we label cancer information overload (CIO). A significant limitation of existing research is that it relies on a single-item measure. The objective of the current study is to develop and validate a multi-item measure of CIO. Methods: Study 1 (N = 209) surveyed healthcare and manufacturing employees at eight worksites. Colonoscopy insurance claims data were culled eighteen months later to evaluate the predictive validity of CIO. Study 2 (N = 399) surveyed adults at seven shopping malls. CIO and cancer fatalism were measured to examine the properties of the two constructs. Results: Study 1 identified a reliable 8-item CIO scale that significantly predicted colonoscopy insurance claims 18 months after the initial survey. Study 2 confirmed the factor structure identified in Study 1, and demonstrated that CIO, cancer fatalism about prevention, and cancer fatalism about treatment are best modeled as three distinct constructs. Conclusion: The perception that there are too many recommendations about cancer prevention to know which ones to follow is an indicator of CIO, a widespread disposition that predicts colon cancer screening and is related to, but distinct from, cancer fatalism. Practice Implications: Many adults exhibit high CIO, a disposition that undermines health efforts. Communication strategies that mitigate CIO are a priority. In the short-term, health care providers and public health professionals should monitor the amount of information provided to patients and the public.

Comparing the Effectiveness of Tailored and Narrative Worksite Interventions at Increasing Colonoscopy Adherence in Adults 50 -75 • Jakob Jensen, University of Utah; Andy King, University of Illinois; Nick Carcioppolo, Miami University; Melinda Krakow, University of Utah; Susan Morgan, Purdue University • Research has identified several communication strategies that could increase adherence to colorectal cancer screening recommendations. Two promising strategies are tailoring and narrative-based approaches. Tailoring is the personalization of information based on individual characteristics. Narrative-based approaches use stories about similar others to counter perceived barriers and cultivate self-efficacy. To compare the effectiveness of these two approaches, a worksite intervention (K = 8 worksites) was conducted in Indiana where adults 50 -75 (N = 210) received one of four messages about colorectal cancer screening: stock, narrative, tailored, tailored narrative. The primary outcome was whether participants filed a colonoscopy claim in the 18 months following the intervention. Individuals receiving narrative messages were 4 times more likely to screen than those not receiving narrative messages. Tailoring did not increase screening behavior overall. However, individuals with higher cancer information overload were 8 times more likely to screen if they received tailored messages. The results suggest that narrative-based approaches are more effective than tailoring at increasing colorectal cancer screening in worksite interventions. Tailoring may be valuable as a strategy for reaching individuals with high overload, perhaps as a follow-up effort to a larger communication campaign.

The Influence of Attention to Conflicting News Coverage on Protection Motivation: An Application of Protection Motivation Theory to the H1N1 Pandemic Outbreak • Jehoon Jeon, Wayne State University • In the H1N1 pandemic outbreak, news coverage initially focused on the risk factors of H1N1 and recommend vaccination, but also highlighted the risk of previously recommended behavior later. Using a statewide survey (N = 578), the current study investigates how news consumers’ attention to a series of conflicting news coverage leads to their protection motivation through diverse factors of protection motivation theory (PMT; Rogers, 1983). Our finding indicates that the overall protection motivation process is mediated by experienced fear aroused by attention to conflicting news coverage. In particular, both news coverage that focuses on the threat of H1N1 and the risk factors of preventive vaccination drive the experienced fear about the pandemic outbreak. Moreover, this experienced fear is associated with perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, and perceived response-efficacy for all participants. Whereas these cognitive assessments lead to behavioral intention to get the vaccination for those who have not got the H1N1 vaccination yet, coping appraisal was a significant predictor that results post-decisional regret for those who already got the vaccination. Implications for news coverage about the pandemic outbreak and long-term health campaign are discussed.

Understanding the Effectiveness of Ecolabels: Exploring Message Formats, Context-Induced Moods, and Issue-Relevant Determinants • Yongick Jeong, Louisiana State University; Young Kim, Louisiana State University • This study examines how young adults process ecolabels (environmental warning labels) for three environmental products/conditions by determining the effectiveness of warnings in different message formats (ad and public service announcement, PSA) across different context-induced moods (positive and negative) as well as the impacts of various issue-relevant factors. The findings indicate that the evaluations of ecolabels are significantly influenced by various determinants, and these factors showed different patterns of influences for each product category.

Source Diversity Among Journals Cited in Science Times • Vincent Kiernan, Georgetown University • A content analysis of The New York Times’ Science Times section from 1998 to 2012 found evidence of increased source diversity in use of scientific journals as news sources. Science Times increased the frequency at which it cited journals, the number of different journals that it cited, and the number of disciplines represented by cited journals. The results suggest that online availability of a wide array of scientific journals has changed sourcing behaviors.

Barriers to Clinical Trials Participation: A Comparison of Rural and Urban Communities in South Carolina • Sei-Hill Kim; Andrea Tanner; Daniela Friedman, University of South Carolina; Caroline Foster, University of South Carolina; Caroline Bergeron, University of South Carolina • Analyzing data from a survey of rural and urban residents in South Carolina, this study attempts to understand how to better promote clinical trials (CT) in rural areas. In order to explore why participation is lower among the rural population, we examine two groups of potential barriers: structural and procedural (limited accessibility, lack of awareness, lack of health insurance) and cognitive and psychological (lack of knowledge, misperceptions, distrust, fear). We then make a series of comparisons between rural and urban residents to see whether rural residents are significantly different from urban residents in terms of structural/procedural and cognitive/psychological barriers they are facing. Findings indicated that there were no significant differences between rural and urban residents in their willingness to participate in a CT. However, rural residents were more likely to perceive limited access to CTs sites and lack of awareness of available trials. Rural residents also indicated greater lack knowledge about CTs. Finally, we found that distrust and fear were significant predictors of one’s willingness to participate in a CT. Implications of the findings are discussed in detail.

Understanding American and Korean Students’ Support for Pro-Environmental Tax Policy: The Application of the Value-Belief-Norm Theory of Environmentalism • Soojung Kim, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Wooyeol Shin, University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities • Based on Stern’s (2000) Value-Belief-Norm Theory of Environmentalism, this study predicted American and Korean students’ intentions to support pro-environmental tax policy that can help address global climate change. The results indicate that one’s environmental concern and perceived severity of climate change were significant predictors of one’s intentions to support pro-environmental tax policy. In addition, perceived individual responsibility for addressing climate change played an essential role in mediating the relationship between environmental beliefs (i.e., environmental concern and perceived severity) and tax policy support for Korean students. Such relationship was not observed among American students. The findings contribute to environmental communication research and environmental message development, especially campaigns targeting individuals from different countries.

Psychological Mechanisms Underlying the Effects of Seeking and Scanning Mammography-related Information from Media on Screening Mammography • Chul-joo Lee; Xiaoquan Zhao; Macarena Pena-y-Lillo • To understand how mammogram-related information available in the media may have influences on intention to get a mammogram, we built a theoretical model by combining traditional media-effects models, such as cognitive mediation model (CMM), and theory of planned behavior (TPB). Our media effects model for screening mammogram was largely supported by a survey with a nationally representative survey of U.S. females aged between 40 and 70. As expected, seeking and scanning mammogram-related information from media were positively associated with reflective integration of media health information, which in turn was positively related to attitude and social norm. Then, attitude and social norm was positively linked to intention to get a mammogram. The implications of these findings for public health intervention efforts and communication research were discussed.

Beyond the Blame Game: Cultural Differences in Climate Change Coverage in China and the U.S. • Ming-Ching Liang, University of Texas at Austin; Lee Ann Kahlor, University of Texas at Austin; Z. Janet Yang, SUNY at Buffalo; Anthony Dudo, The University of Texas at Austin; Weiai Xu, University at Buffalo; Jonathan Mertel, University at Buffalo • The current content analysis consists of 493 U.S. news stories and 250 Chinese news stories about climate change published from 2007 to 2011. The results revealed similar patterns of news coverage of climate change and self-serving bias between the two samples. While Chinese articles were more likely to cover solutions to climate change, larger proportion of the U.S. articles attributed causes of climate change to the U.S. and dispositional factors such as greenhouse gas emission.

Cáncer de seno en Twitter: A Network and Content Analysis of Social Support Spanish Language Cancer Twitter Talk • Everett Long, University of Georgia; Itai Himelboim; Raúl López-Vázquez • Network and content analyses are applied to examine the type and network structures of breast cancer support in Spanish on Twitter. Informational support was the most common support. Primary sources were news media. Users expressing support were more likely to interact than users posting non-support messages. Users exhibiting emotional support were more likely to belong to a group than users expressing other support. Implications for researchers and the healthcare community are discussed.

Living with Nuclear Power: Risk Information Seeking and Processing • Hang Lu, Marquette University; Mingbo Xiahou; Xianghu Ke; Hongshan Yu; Zunyi Li; Lian Zhang • As the safety of nuclear power plants has become a heated topic in China after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, this study applied the Model of Risk Information Seeking and Processing (RISP) to examine individuals’ information seeking and processing of the nuclear-related risks from a local nuclear power plant. This study not only employed variables from the RISP model, but also looked specifically at the role of local context factors, such as risk proximity, length of residence, personal benefits, and familiarity with the hazard facility in shaping the risk perceptions among potentially affected populations. A 2 (severity: high vs. low) x 2 (coping strategy: difficult vs. easy) between-subjects experiment was conducted targeting residents (N=324) living near Ling Ao nuclear power plant in China. Key findings indicated the significance of local context factors and a more direct role that informational subjective norms played in risk information seeking and processing. Limitations and future implications are also discussed.

Reassuring the Public after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Assessing the Coverage Quality in Chinese Newspapers • Hang Lu, Marquette University; Mingbo Xiahou • Building on the five-dimension conceptualization for “quality of coverage”, the current study sought to examine the quality of the Fukushima nuclear accident coverage in Chinese newspapers, specifically the health risk-related information. This study extended the five-dimension conceptualization by adding a potential sixth dimension, the alarming and reassuring frames, which proved to be especially suitable. The results showed that in terms of general quantitative risk information, risk comparison, worst-case scenarios, thematic frames and reassuring frames, the Chinese newspaper provided a high quality of the Fukushima nuclear radiation-related risk coverage, but needed to offer more quantitative risk information with contextual denominators, more self-efficacy information, and fewer loaded words in order to communicate more clear, useful, and objective risk information. Limitations and future implications are also discussed.

Corn vs. Cane: Newspaper coverage of the sweetener debates • Paige Madsen, University of Iowa • The purpose of this study is to compare the way sweeteners were covered in print news in regional and national newspapers. The content analysis aims to reveal differences in coverage, including frequency, topics, sources, and the way that health, economic, and policy impact is discussed. The findings suggest that the states’ economic interests did relate to the way in which the sweetener debates were covered in their newspapers.

Are Online Comments Good for You? Health Journalism and Its Readers • Kathleen McElroy, University of Texas; Na Yeon Lee, University of Texas at Austin • This study examined the nature of online comments posted on health articles. Through a content analysis, it found that health comments are usually neutral in tone but far more likely to be positive than negative. Readers tend to offer their opinion rather than offer personal narratives, facts, or outside sources to make their point. Health comments were devoid of the incivility usually presumed in general comment discourse. In addition, readers motivated enough to respond to health articles were rarely off topic. This study suggests that journalists take advantage of the instant feedback that reader comments supply for true health communication to take place.

Increasing Early Diagnosis of Autism: Exploring Awareness and Pathways to Information Seeking Among Parents • Brooke W. McKeever, University of South Carolina; Robert McKeever, University of South Carolina; Robert Hock • Using a survey of parents of young children (N=686), this study examines key determinants related to health-related information seeking about early diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). It also explores the role of perceived stigma associated with autism, as well as attitudes toward treatment related to autism. Findings indicated that problem recognition and involvement positively predicted information seeking and processing. Relationships among other variables are discussed, along with theoretical and practical implications.

Through God: Comparing the Effects of Online Emotional and Religious Support Expression on Breast Cancer Patients’ Health • Bryan McLaughlin, University of Wisconsin, Madison; JungHwan Yang, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Woohyun Yoo, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Soo Yun Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Bret Shaw, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dhavan Shah; David Gustafson • The growth of online support groups has led to an expression effects paradigm within the health communication literature. While religious support expression is characterized as a sub-dimension of emotional support, we argue these are distinct communicative processes. Using data from an online group for women with breast cancer we test a theoretical expression effects model. Results demonstrate that religious support expression is a distinct construct, which highlights the need to further theorize about expression effects.

Anti-Dating Violence Campaign Effectiveness to African-American Teenage Males • Cynthia Morton, University of Florida • This study attempts to close the gap in information about under-researched adolescent male audiences with research that investigates attitudes and beliefs held by at-risk African-American teenaged males. Focus group research was conducted to examine this group’s beliefs about dating, as well as perceptions of dating gender roles, media influence, and healthy versus unhealthy relationship interactions using constructs from the Theory of Planned Behavior as a framework for examination. The findings suggest opportunities to utilize anti-dating violence campaigns as vehicles for giving at-risk teens scripts for modeling positive behavior and for negotiating relationship conflict.

Use of the PHM Framework to Create Safe-Sex Ads To Mature Women Aged 50+ • Cynthia Morton, University of Florida; Hyojin Kim, University of Florida • The purpose of this research is to apply the Witte’s Persuasive Health Message (PHM) framework to the development of creative concepts that promote sexual health strategies to senior-aged women. The PHM framework proposes an integrated approach to improving message effectiveness and maximizing persuasion in health communication campaigns. A focus group method was used to explore two research questions focused on message effectiveness and persuasion. The findings suggest the PHM framework can be a useful starting point for ensuring that health communicators identify the criteria most relevant to successful ad promotions.

Uses of Microblogging during Chinese Food Safety Crises • Yi Mou • The affordance of microblogging service has made it an ideal tool in communicating risk and crisis. However, due to the novelty of social media, the scholarship on social media and risk communication is still nascent. Under the guidance of uses and gratifications theory, this study attempts to bring some insights by investigating food safety communication on microblogging service in China. A content analysis on 6,187 pieces of microblog posts on 12 recent food-safety incidents was conducted. The results reveal that compared to other types of microbloggers, the lay public tends to express more opinions or comments on food-safety incidents, rather than to simply report incidents or provide scientific research information. Besides, the lay public exhibits less proficiency in employing multimedia but more negative emotions in their microblog posting. In addition, three major themes of posts have been identified; these include 1) a channel to disseminate information, 2) an outlet to vent, and 3) a venue for surveillance. The results of this study have shown signs of a button-up pattern initiated by the Chinese microblog users. As a promise of employing social media in environmental health communication is highly expected, caution needs to be paid at the current stage.

Media Use and Communication Gaps About Science: The Case of Climate Change • Erik Nisbet; Kathyrn Cooper; Morgan Ellithorpe • This study evaluates the knowledge and belief gap hypotheses around climate change across different media genres. Results indicate belief gaps for news and entertainment content and a knowledge gap for edutainment content. Political news attention decreased and science news attention increased knowledge among conservatives. TV entertainment content had the mainstreaming effect of decreasing knowledge among liberals. Edutainment attention led to a widening gap in climate change knowledge based on respondents’ amount of scientific literacy.

Toward a Cultural Cognition Theory of Smoking Risk: An Analysis of Values and Smoking Risk Perceptions • S. Senyo Ofori-Parku, University of Oregon • Using a cultural cognition analysis, this study examines how people’s attitudes toward social norms and orderings (Hierarchy), and individual autonomy (Individualism) manifest in how much risk they associate with cigarette smoking. In a survey of 484 people, this study finds that despite the pervasive scientific consensus on the issues and communication efforts on the subject, individuals perceive smoking risks in ways that affirm their cultural predispositions. Hierarchists and individualist, who have positive attitudes toward free markets and hierarchical social orderings respectively, perceive low risk, while those (egalitarian or communitarian) with negative attitudes toward traditional cultural values and free markets perceive high risks. Health risk communication and public policy implications are discussed.

HIV Onset Controllability and Outcome Valence of Living with HIV Message: Message Framing Effects on Attribution, Emotions and Behavioral Intentions toward PLWHA • Chunbo Ren • Literature indicates that media symbolically stigmatize HIV/AIDS and implicitly frame people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in an immoral and loss state. A better understanding of message framing is needed to explore strategies to reduce HIV/AIDS stigma in media discourse. Guided by Weiner’s attribution model and gain/loss framing theory, the current study systematically manipulated HIV onset controllability and outcome valence of living with HIV in an anti-stigma message design. It explored framing effects of HIV onset controllability (high controllability and low controllability) and outcome valence of living with HIV (gain frame and loss frame) on perceivers’ attribution judgment, emotional reactions, and behavioral intentions toward PLWHA. The results indicated that HIV onset controllability could be a major factor in explaining perceivers’ attributions, emotions and behavioral intentions toward. In most situations, outcome valence was not a significant predictor. However, outcome valence could interact with HIV controllability to elicit anger and influence people’s intentions to interact with PLWHA. Positively framing PLWHA may even backfire and result in some negative emotional reactions and behavioral intentions toward PLWHA.

One Health, Two Minds: The Role of Temporal Frames on Effects of One Health Messages on Partisan Divides • Sungjong Roh, Cornell University; Katherine McComas, Cornell University; Laura Rickard, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Dan Decker, Cornell Univeristy • We used a web-based, randomized experiment with a representative sample of U.S. adults (N=460) to investigate framing, psychological distance, and partisan divides on attributions of responsibility for the presence of zoonotic disease risk. Results show that, among Republicans, the “One Health” message emphasizing human, environmental, and animal responsibility and using a temporally proximal frame decreased biocentrism and conservation intentions whereas the One Health message with a temporally distal frame did not produce these effects.

A Meta-Analysis Assessing the Effects of Narrative Persuasion in Health Communication • Fuyuan Shen; Vivian Sheer; Ruobing Li • This meta-analysis assessed the persuasive effects of narratives in health communication interventions. A search of the literature identified 24 studies (N = 6040) that examined the effects of narratives on changing attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. Analyses of the effect sizes, using the random effects model, indicated that overall, narratives had a small but significant impact on persuasion (r = .042). Narratives delivered via audios and videos led to significant effects; text-based narratives, however, did not exhibit a significant impact. Further, not all health issues were effectively intervened with narrative messages. In particular, narratives advocating prevention as well as detection health behaviors (with a loss frame) led to significant effects; whereas, those advocating cessation behaviors did not have significant effects. These findings indicate that the impact of narratives can be significant only under certain conditions. Implications for future research are discussed.

Environmental Health Communication at Organizational Level: Content Analysis of Healthy Homes Program Sites • Yulia Strekalova, U of Florida; Stuart Clarry, U of Florida • Environmental hazards in the homes lead to increases in preventable diseases and injuries and affect poor, minority and vulnerable populations in disproportional rates. This paper reports a content analysis of the CDC-sponsored state-level Healthy Homes program web-sites and focuses on several themes: amount of information available, ease in site navigation, targeting of diverse general audiences as well as health education and housing professionals, availability of materials that prompt self-assessment and encourage action. While government-sponsored web-sites are uniquely positioned to provide reliable information and authoritative information about environmental health risks and self-care methods, the state-level Healthy Homes program sites are not uniform in providing coverage for main topics identified by CDC. Differences exist in types of materials provided, communication approaches used and audiences targeted.

Idiosyncratic responses: The relationship between framing, topic and how readers respond to online health articles • Melissa Suran; Avery Holton; Renita Coleman • Health scholars have given some attention to the role of framing in health news coverage and how certain framing elements may affect the way readers respond. Results have shown an inconsistent relationship at best—sometimes readers respond to the frames the way researchers expect and sometimes they do not. This study focused on one key variable—the topic of health news coverage—and its possible association with the ways readers responds online. Using a content analysis of three major US newspapers’ online health content and attached reader responses, the findings here suggest that certain health topics may be idiosyncratic with the ways readers respond. Regardless of how they were framed, readers responded to articles dealing with well-being with gainful and episodic comments, and were less likely to respond episodically to coverage of politics and government in health. They also responded less thematically to research and breakthrough content and more thematically to issues of mental health. Implications for health communication and media scholarship and practice as well as future research are discussed.

Media sources, credibility, and perceptions of science: Learning about how people learn about science • Bruno Takahashi, Michigan State University; Edson Tandoc, University of Missouri-Columbia • Knowledge about science and technology has become increasingly important in this age of digital information overload, it is also becoming increasingly important to understand what contributes to scientific learning. In this study we test a multivariate model to explain scientific knowledge based on three theories on learning from the news from the fields of political communication, sociology, and media psychology, using the most recent data (2012) from the General Social Survey (GSS).

Clinical Trial Recruitment at Academic Medical Centers: Current Practices and Perceptions about Recruiting Strategies • Andrea Tanner, University of South Carolina; Sei-Hill Kim; Daniela Friedman, University of South Carolina; Caroline Foster; Caroline Bergeron, University of South Carolina • Objective: To describe the current clinical trial (CT) recruiting efforts taking place at academic medical centers in a southeastern state and to explore principal investigators’ attitudes and beliefs about how to successfully recruit for CTs, in the general population and in African American and rural communities. Methods: Using a purposive sample of CT investigators at academic medical centers (N=119), an online survey assessed respondents’ experience with recruitment, perceived difficulty in finding patients to participate in research, and the strategies investigators use to enhance CT enrollment. Results: Rural residents are least likely to be represented in CT research, behind both African Americans and the general public. CT teams most often use traditional recruiting methods, such as personal recruitment, recruitment through local doctors, and patient databases. Conclusion: CT investigators rarely communicate about clinical research outside of the medical setting or partner with community organizations to reach patients in medically underserved communities. Practice Implications: CT teams should be educated about how best to promote awareness and knowledge about CT research in medically underserved communities. There is also a need for communication and cooperation between CT investigators and local physicians who are often involved in the accrual of patients.

The Best of Intentions: Patients intentions to request health care workers cleanse hands before examinations • Debbie Treise, University of Florida; Michael Weigold, University of Florida; Denise Schain, University of Florida College of Medicine; Kristina Birnbrauer, University of Florida • The CDC, in response to tens of thousands of deaths each year from preventable infectious disease, recommends that patients ask their doctors to cleanse their hands in the patients’ presence for each examination. The recommendation presents patients challenges stemming from norms surrounding the doctor-patient relationship. In addition, some personality variables (e.g., interaction anxiety) may make such a discussion difficult while others (e.g., authoritarianism) may make such a discussion seem inappropriate. And little is known about the role that well-known predictors of behavioral intentions (i.e., attitudes, subjective norms, efficacy, outcome benefits and costs) will play in intentions to perform this specific behavior. A total of 250 actual patients in a hospital setting were asked questions about their own likelihood of following the CDC’s recommendation and were asked to respond to one of five video depictions of a doctor and patient interaction. The depictions showed an examination in which a doctor did not cleanse, as well as four in which he did. In the videos in which the doctor did cleanse, further manipulations included that he did so of his own accord, he did so agreeably in response to a patient request, he did so disagreeably in response to a patient request, and he did so of his own accord and assured the patient that she should always ask a healthcare provider to cleanse. Results of the study suggest the CDC recommendation, without additional considerations, is unlikely to do much to stem the dangers posed by healthcare worker transmission of infectious disease.

Media, Celebrities, and Breastfeeding: Exploring the Breastfeeding Duration of Working Women. • Rhonda Trust, Boston University • U.S. mothers comprise over 70% of the U.S. workforce. However, many mothers return to work only weeks after giving birth. This study examines media portrayals of breastfeeding, celebrity comments about breastfeeding, and the breastfeeding duration of working women. Women residing in the U.S. who had at least one child completed an online survey. Negative media portrayals of breastfeeding and celebrity comments were the factors significantly associated with the breastfeeding duration of working women. The results suggest campaigns and health interventions targeted for working women must consider the effects of breastfeeding portrayals in the media and celebrity endorsements of breastfeeding.

Risk Perceptions, Worry and Information Seeking Experiences/Behaviors: Evidence From the 2012 Health Information National Trends Survey • JIUN-YI TSAI, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This study investigated the relationships between cognitive (risk perceptions) and affective (worry about getting cancer) motivators and their influences on health information seeking experiences/behaviors. Using the 2012 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), we found absolute risk perception and perceived comparative risk both positively associated with cancer worry; perceived comparative risk had a stronger effect in predicting worry than absolute risk did. In addition, higher levels of perceived absolute risk, comparative risk and cancer worry were associated with more negative experiences with information seeking efforts. Worry mediated the relationship between absolute risk and worse information seeking experiences. Similar mediating role of worry in associations between comparative risk and frustrating seeking experiences was identified. Lastly, we found worry predicted general health and cancer-specific information seeking behaviors whereas risk perceptions showed no significant effect. Results highlight the potential role of worry as an influential predictor of health information seeking.

Environmental Frames: An Analysis of Advertising Content from 1990 to 2010 • Matthew VanDyke, Texas Tech University; John Tedesco, Virginia Tech • This content analysis examined the characteristics of environmental advertisements (N = 449) published in Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News and World Report in 1990, 2000, and 2010. Findings indicate that responsibility frames were dominant as the strategy used in advertisements. The species/habitat protection issue was the dominant issue in 1990, while energy efficiency was the prevalent issue in 2000 and 2010. Advertisements primarily were sponsored by for-profit organizations and had a positive valence over time.

How Well Do U.S. Journalists Cover Health Treatments, Tests, Products and Procedures? • Kim Walsh-Childers, University of Florida; Jennifer Braddock, University of Florida; Cristina Rabaza, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications; Gary Schwitzer, HealthNewsReview.org • This study examined 518 HealthNewsReview.org assessments of health stories from 2011-early 2013. The reviewers assessed stories as satisfactory on all relevant criteria slightly less than 60% of the time. The three criteria least likely to be met were quantifying potential harms an individual might experience as a result of a medical intervention, discussing how much that intervention would likely cost, and quantifying the benefits a patient could expect from the intervention or change. Fewer than 50% of the reviewed stories were deemed satisfactory on these three criteria and two more: discussing the quality of the evidence provided in support of the intervention and discussing alternatives to the intervention. Our comparison of the most recent reviews with analysis of the first 500 reviews showed that journalists’ rate of success in providing satisfactory information had improved on eight of the 10 criteria. However, on two criteria – establishing whether or not the intervention being discussed was truly new and avoiding relying totally on a press release for the story information – journalists’ performance declined between the earliest reviews and this latest set. In general, stories produced by a wire service or syndicate were most likely to be rated satisfactory. The few stories that were focused more on a disease or medical condition were most likely to be rated satisfactory, in general, followed by stories about surgical procedures. Stories about medical devices such as stents and pacemakers were least likely to successfully meet the criteria.

Everyone has questions: Developing a social marketing campaign promoting a sexual health text message service • Jessica Fitts Willoughby, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill • Text message services that provide sexual health information are increasingly popular, but often not well promoted. This paper describes the development of a social marketing campaign promoting a state-based sexual health text message service. In-depth interviews and focus groups (n=35) provided information on perceived benefits and barriers and teen perceptions. Teens were interested in the service and wanted to see relevant settings and relatable teens in advertisements. Implications for promotion of similar services are discussed.

Tell It if You Can: A Study of PTSD in Newspapers and Military Blogs • Lu Wu • This study investigates the differences in the delineation of post-traumatic stress disorder in newspapers and in military blogs. Through thematic analysis of selected newspaper articles and blog posts, the research examines the different categories and themes that exist in newspapers’ and weblogs’ coverage on PTSD among military members and veterans. Marked differences are found among newspaper and blogs. The content of newspaper articles is focused on the overall picture of PTSD in the military society, but overlooks the individual struggles. In addition, newspaper coverage tends to frame PTSD negatively. The blog contents are more personalized and emotion-driven, providing details of daily life and experience, but could not compete with newspaper on quality journalism.

Designing Messages with High Sensation Value: When Activation Meets Reactance • Jie Xu, Villanova University • Based on two health communication models—Activation Model of Information Exposure and Psychological Reactance Theory—this study examines the individual and combined effects of message sensation value and controlling language on young adults’ information processing. Two studies on anti-drunken driving and anti-smoking PSAs were conducted that were conceptual replications of one another. Across the two studies, MSV was found to advance the perceived ad effectiveness, and controlling language contributed to reactance. A consistent interaction was revealed, such that MSV and controlling language interacted to affect perceived ad effectiveness and reactance. People responded positively to the high sensation value messages when presented with low controlling language. The effect of high sensation value anti-smoking ads to advance persuasiveness particularly under the condition of low controlling language was more influential to low sensation seekers. The sensation seeking targeting strategy (SENTAR) approach to risk prevention campaigns did not receive support from either study. The implications for persuasive communication, in general, are considered as well the specific findings for drunken-driving and smoking.

Engendering Support for Anti-Stigma Activities toward People Living with HIV/AIDS: The Interactive Effects of Motivational Systems, Attribute Framing and HIV Onset Controllability • Chunbo Ren; Changmin Yan, Washington State University • A motivation (approach or inhibition) by HIV onset controllability (low vs. high) by attribute framing (positive vs. negative) experiment was conducted to identify the effective messaging strategies to encourage anti-stigma activities toward people living with HIV/ADIS. Several significant effects were observed including a controllability main effect, a motivation by attribute framing interaction and a motivation by attribute framing by controllability interaction. The findings expanded existing motivation theory and framing research and suggested effective messaging strategies.

Managing Dog Waste: Campaign Insights from the Health Belief Model • Eli Typhina, North Carolina State University; Changmin Yan, Washington State University • Aiming to help municipalities develop effective education and outreach campaigns to reduce stormwater pollutants, such as pet waste, this study applied the Health Belief Model to identify perceptions of dog waste and corresponding collection behaviors from dog owners living in a small U.S. city. Results of 455 online survey responses strongly support the HBM and provide evidence for helping municipalities develop dog waste reduction campaigns and its potential application to other environmental issues.

Promoting Preventive Behaviors against Influenza: Comparison between Developing and Developed Countries • Z. Janet Yang, SUNY at Buffalo; Shirley Ho; May Lwin • Applying the Health Belief Model, this study examined young adults’ intention to adopt preventive behaviors against influenza infection in developing countries (Thailand and Cambodia) and developed countries (the U.S. and Singapore). Self-efficacy was the only variable significantly related to behavioral intention in the developing countries. In contrast, perceived threat, expected benefits, and media attention were significant predictors in the developed countries. Trust in information sources also had a consistent impact across the two samples.

Partisan amplification of nuclear energy risk in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster • Michael Cacciatore; Sara Yeo; Dominique Brossard; Dietram Scheufele, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Kristin Runge, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Leona Yi-Fan Su; Jiyoun Kim; Michael Xenos; Elizabeth Corley • On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 8.4 earthquake, the largest in the nation’s history, occurred off the coast of Japan. The earthquake produced a devastating tsunami that flooded areas of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and resulted in a loss of power to the plant’s cooling system. In the weeks that followed, the world watched as Japanese and international nuclear power safety experts scrambled to contain the damage and prevent a full meltdown. Although the Fukushima Daiichi disaster was heavily covered in media, there is little empirical research on how this coverage impacted audience risk perceptions. This study examines risk perceptions toward nuclear power before and after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster using nationally representative survey samples of American adults. However, our analysis goes beyond examining aggregate risk perceptions, instead focusing on how specific sub-populations responded to the disaster. Specifically, we found that liberals and conservatives responded differently to the events in Japan, with liberals increasing in their risk perceptions after the crisis and conservatives actually decreasing in their perceptions of risk. Moreover, we found that media use exacerbated these effects. We discuss possible explanations for these findings.

Patterns and motivations of young adults’ health information acquisitions on Facebook • Yue Zheng, University of South Carolina • Using in-depth interviews with 32 young adults, this study explores how and why young people seek and scan health information on Facebook. Employing a grounded theory approach, this study constructs a framework using health information desire and Facebook use as two key factors to explain the four identified patterns of health information acquisitions. This study also examines the major motivations for each pattern-knowledge fulfillment, entertainment, sociability, and instrumentality. Practical implications are discussed.

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