Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk 2014 Abstracts

Expectancies and Motivations to Attend an Informal Lecture Series • Niveen AbiGhannam, University of Texas at Austin; Ming-Ching Liang; Lee Ann Kahlor, UT Austin; Anthony Dudo, University of Texas at Austin • We interviewed the audience of an informal science lecture series at a college campus. We used self-determination theory to understand what motivates audiences to attend the talks and social cognitive theory to determine the outcome expectancies that people hope to get out of attending those talks. Intrinsic motivations were found to be the main drivers for attending the talks. Audiences, however, were also found to also hold outcome and efficacy expectations to attend the talks.

“Drunk in Love”: The Portrayal of Risk Behavior in Music Lyrics • Christina Anderson, Coastal Carolina University; Kyle J. Holody, Coastal Carolina University; Mark Flynn, Coastal Carolina University; Clay Craig, Coastal Carolina University • The current study investigates the portrayal of risk behavior in Rap, R&B/Hip Hop, Adult Contemporary, Rock, Country, and Pop lyrics by conducting a content analysis of top 20 Billboard songs from each category from 2009-2013. Using the theoretical framework of the Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 2009), this study discusses normative behaviors of music genres, as well as the potential implications of vicarious learning and modeling for consumers of music lyrics. Findings suggest alcohol consumption and sexual behaviors are the most frequently mentioned risk behaviors in lyrics, particularly within Rap and R&B/Hip-Hop lyrics. Results also suggest risk behavior is often associated with positive emotions and a disregard for consequences. Media literacy for adolescents and young adults, who are the greatest consumers of music, is emphasized as a possible solution. Further investigation into the impact of exposure to risk behavior in music lyrics upon consumers is warranted.

Integrating Self-Affirmation into Health-Risk Messages: Effects on Message Response and Behavioral Intent • Laura Arpan, Florida State University; Young Sun Lee, Florida State University; Zihan Wang, Florida State University • The current study tested a new method of using Self-Affirmation Theory to increase adaptive responses to health-risk messages. Participants’ self-concepts were affirmed via text incorporated into messages rather than by more cumbersome, less practical methods used in previous studies. College students (N=342) who reported high or low level of personal relevance of three behaviors (wearing flip-flops, drinking bottled water, or drinking caffeinated beverages) were exposed to either affirming or non-affirming Public Service Announcements about the risky behavior and its health outcomes. Affirmed participants reported more positive attitudes toward the message, greater self-efficacy, and increased behavioral intent to reduce risky behavior than non-affirmed participants, and this effect was stable for participants in both high- and low- relevance groups. However, affirmed participants rated the risk-associated threat as less severe than non-affirmed participants. Perceptions of threat susceptibility were not influenced by affirming vs. non-affirming messages.

Predicting employee responses to an energy-saving intervention and descriptive versus moral norms framing of educational messages • Laura Arpan, Florida State University; Prabir Barooah, University of Florida, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Rahul Subramany, Lutron Electronics • This study examined energy savings, air-quality changes, and employee responses associated with an energy-efficiency pilot program in a university building. Effects of two educational message frames (descriptive vs. moral norms cues) were also tested. Employees’ personal moral norm to conserve energy most consistently predicted positive responses. The two message frames had roughly equivalent effects on behavioral responses, although employees who received the descriptive-norms message were somewhat more likely to say they might complain about the program.

Resonance of a Media-Based Social Norms Health Campaign to Students in a College Greek System • Erica Austin, Washington State University; Stacey J.T. Hust, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University; Bruce Pinkleton, Washington State University Murrow Center for Media & Health Promotion; Jason Wheeler, Washington State University; Anna Wheatley, Washington State University • A posttest-only field experiment with randomized assignment to control and treatment groups tested the role of resonance in a media-based campaign for alcohol abuse and risk prevention within a college Greek community. Gender-targeted, descriptive and injunctive norms-based e-zine messages especially resonated among higher-risk students. Resonance predicted efficacy for safer behavior and smaller collective norms misperceptions. The results indicated the intervention strategies successfully reached high-risk students and that beneficial effects depended on receptivity, not just exposure.

Stay Active: The Effect of a Social Media Community on Exercise Adherence Motivation • Justin Barnes, University of Idaho; Yong-Chae Rhee, Washington State University • The purpose of this study was to provide information regarding a venue for exercise adherence motivation toward physical activity via social media support. The five themes identified that positively affected participants’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to adhere to exercise through a social media fitness application were: accountability matters; support is crucial for a sedentary population beginning exercise; recognition of gains positively affects motivation; social media creates positive fitness competition; and fitness is a lifestyle.

Functions of Family Support in Elderly Chinese Singaporean Women’s Health Behavior • Iccha Basnyat; Leanne Chang, National University of Singapore • This study sought to investigate how family support functions in the lives of elderly Chinese Singaporean woman and how it guides elderly women’s management of day-to-day health and well-being. Thirty-eight semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore elderly women’s understanding of family support in their lives and its influence on their health behavior. Results of thematic analysis show that family support was carried out through intergenerational communication of health information from the past and provision of physical assistance in the present. Together, the intangible information support and the tangible physical support serve a function of encouraging elderly women to engage in positive health behavior rooted in both traditional practices and Western medical treatments. Findings from this study provide insights into how health behavior is communicated, and supported in a local cultural context.

Commercial Sex Worker’s Articulations of Agency and Survival: Implications for Health Intervention Strategies • Iccha Basnyat • Lived experiences of female commercial sex workers illustrate that sex work is a manifestation of limited access to education, resources, and jobs due to violence, oppression, and patriarchy. However, Nepalese female commercial sex workers reconstitute sex work as a viable form of work that provides food and shelter for their families and allows fulfillment of their duties as mothers. Through a culture-centered approach to research, which emphasis voices of the marginalized and their own articulations of how marginalized spaces are negotiated, this article offers an entry point to locating commercial sex workers as active participants in their day-to-day living. Thirty-five in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with street-based female commercial sex workers. Thematic analysis revealed the following three themes: (a) surviving through sex work; (b) financial security in sex work; and (c) surviving sex work stigma. These findings have implications for health promotion targeted to this population. Lived experiences illustrate the need to move away from traditional, top-down, linear behavior-change health campaigns to reconstitute health interventions with a participatory bottom-up approach that includes the voices of the cultural participants and are situated within their own needs and context.

Predictors of Perceptions of Scientists: Comparing 2001 and 2012 • John Besley, Michigan State University • The 2001 and 2012 National Science Foundation surveys of public attitudes and knowledge about science were used to model perceptions of scientists and explore whether the predictors of such perceptions have changed over time. The available data indicate that the relative impact of the available predictors changed somewhat between the two time periods. Key predictors of views about scientists include age, gender, and scientific knowledge, regardless of time period. Science museum attendance and primary source of science news were also sometimes important. A key limitation of the modeling is that the available predictors do a relatively poor job predicting both positive and negative views about scientists. This may suggest the need for a reconsideration what questions get included in the biennial NSF science and technology survey, particularly when it comes to communication variables.

Visual Attention to and Memory for Humorous Versus Threating Advisories • Hannah Sikora; Mary Brooks, Texas Tech University; Zijian Gong, Texas Tech University; Glenn Cummins, Texas Tech University • Based on the looming threat of threat-inducing graphic advisories in cigarette advertising and packaging, advertising researchers have begun to explore the impact of graphic images incorporated in advisory labels as a means of eliciting attention and improving memory. However, some research has shown that such messages can also lead to selective avoidance among smokers. This study used the tenets of the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) and eye tracking to test the utility of humorous appeals within graphic advisory labels for both smokers and nonsmokers. Compared to threat-inducing graphic advisories, humorous appeals garnered greater attention and unaided recall. However, advisory type had no impact on attitudes toward cigarette advertisements, and these effects were uniform for both smokers and non-smokers.

Expert Interviews with Science Communicators: Identifying News Values and Perceptions of Audience Values • Paige Brown, Louisiana State University • Science communicators are a key link between scientists and lay readers, navigating both the values of science and the values of audiences, using professionally shared news factors and ideas about the role of science communication in society to select and produce stories. And yet we know little about the motivations and assumptions of audience values that underlie professionally shared news factors in science communication. Interviews with 14 science communicators in various areas of communication reveal that both their personal motivations and their perceptions of audience values influence whether and how scientific research is translated into story.

Opposing ends of the spectrum: Predicting trust in scientific and religious authorities • Michael Cacciatore, University of Georgia; Nicholas Browning, University of Georgia; Dietram Scheufele; Dominique Brossard; Michael Xenos; Elizabeth Corley • Given the ethical questions that surround many emerging technologies, the present study is interested in exploring public trust in two potentially opposing institutions for information about the risks and benefits of science: scientific authorities and religious organizations. We find that Evangelicals are less trusting of scientific institutions and more trusting of religious authorities than their non-Evangelical counterparts and that they use mediated information differently in forming their trust evaluations. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Pilot Evaluation of a UV Monitoring-Enhanced Skin Cancer Prevention Among Farm Youth in Rural Virginia • Yvonnes Chen, University of Kansas; Donatus Ohanehi; Kerry Redican; Robert Grisso; John Perumpral; Steve Feldman; J. Dan Swafford; John Burton • Due to higher levels of UV exposure, rural farm youth are at higher risk for skin cancer than non-farm youth. This pilot study assessed how a UV monitoring-enhanced intervention decreased UV exposure among youth. Using a one-group pretest-posttest design, we found participants’ skin cancer knowledge, skin protection attitude and likelihood of engaging in protection practices significantly increased. Participants were satisfied with the functions of the monitoring device. This tailored intervention was effective for rural youth.

Sources of information influencing the state-of-the-science gap in hormone therapy usage • Fiona Chew, Syracuse University • “Medical reviews and research comprise a key information source for news media stories on medical therapies and innovations as well as for physicians in updating their practice. The present study examines medical review journal articles, physician surveys and news media coverage of HT to assess the relationship between the three information sources and whether/if they contributed to a state-of-the-science gap (a condition when the evaluation of a medical condition or therapy ascertained by the highest standards of investigation is incongruent with the science-in-practice such as physician recommendations and patient actions). We meta-analyzed 156 randomly sampled medical reviews on hormone therapy (HT) and all surveys of US physicians’ HT recommendations between 2002 and 2009. Next, we content analyzed HT news valence in three major TV networks, newspapers and magazines/internet sites in 2002 and 2009. Medical reviews yielded a mixed picture about HT while most physicians were pro-HT. Newspaper and television coverage reflected a pro and con balance while magazine stories were more positive in 2009. Implications are discussed. Implications are discussed.”

One Does Not Fit All: Health Audience Segmentation and Prediction of Health Behaviors • myounggi chon; Hyojung Park, Louisiana State University • This study sought to propose a Health Belief Model-based (HBM) approach to segmenting health audiences in order to improve targeting of cancer prevention efforts. The segmentation variables included HBM variables (perceived susceptibility and self-efficacy), information trust, health literacy, perceived determinants of health, and other modifying variables, such as demographics. This study also examined how the identified health segments would differ in cancer prevention behaviors, including diet and exercise. Data from the 3,630 respondents in the mail portion of the 2013 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) were used for health audience segmentation. A cluster analysis resulted in three distinct health audience groups: (a) Health Aware, (b) Health At Risk, and (c) Health In Confidence. MANOVA tests indicate that these segments significantly differ regarding healthy diet and exercise. The findings from this study can help health practitioners to design more effective cancer prevention campaigns and to promote health behaviors among various audiences.

Linking Evidentiary Balance, Uncertainty, and Health Attitudes in the Context of Vaccine Risk • Christopher Clarke, George Mason University; Brooke McKeever; Avery Holton, University of Utah; Graham Dixon, Cornell University • This article extends research on using ‘evidentiary balance’ to communicate risk-related uncertainty. Participants (n=181) read news articles with/without evidentiary balance rejecting an autism-vaccine link. The impact of such information on post-exposure certainty that vaccines are safe, effective, and not connected to autism was not contingent on pre-exposure certainty. However, it was associated with positive vaccine attitudes indirectly, via a perceived divide among scientists regarding a link and post-exposure certainty. We discuss theoretical and practical implications.

Immersion in Video Games, Creative Self-Efficacy, and Political Participation • Francis Dalisay, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Matthew Kushin, Shepherd University; Jinhee Kim; Clarissa David, University of the Philippines-Diliman; Lilnabeth Somera, University of Guam; Amy Forbes, James Cook University • A survey (N = 801) was conducted in Australia, Guam, the Philippines, South Korea, and the U.S. to explore the relationships between the discovery, role-play, and customization motivations of video game play (Yee, 2006), creative self-efficacy, and political participation. Findings reveal role-play and creative self-efficacy are positively associated with political participation; discovery and role-play are positively associated with creative self-efficacy. Discovery and role-play had small indirect effects on political participation via creative self-efficacy.

Representations of the Environment on Television, and Their Effects • James Shanahan; Katherine McComas, Cornell University; Mary Beth Deline, Cornell University • This study revisits research begun in the 1990s, examining representations of the environment on American entertainment television. We collected new data to assess change between 2012 and the 1990s. Using a cultural indicators and cultivation approach, the study finds that: 1) the environment is still rarely represented; and 2) heavier TV viewers are likelier to sublimate their environmental beliefs. These findings have implications for better understanding the social and policy environment where environmental decisions occur.”

Affective arousal as a mechanism of exemplification effects: An experiment on two-sided message recall and risk perception • Graham Dixon, Cornell University • To test the effect of emotional visuals in two-sided message recall and risk perception, participants (n=516) were randomly assigned to an article presenting conflicting risk arguments with either an image exemplifying an action-risk argument, an image exemplifying an inaction-risk argument, or no image. Significant main effects on recall and risk perception were observed for readers in the action-risk exemplar condition. Negative affect mediated these effects, lending support to the affect heuristic.

Scientists’ prioritization of goals for online public communication • Anthony Dudo, University of Texas at Austin; John Besley, Michigan State University • This study examines scientists’ strategic communication sensibilities, specifically in terms of their valuation of five goals for online public communication. These goals include informing the public about science, exciting the public about science, strengthening the public’s trust in science, tailoring messages about science, and defending science from misinformation. We use insights from extant research, the Theory of Planned Behavior, and procedural justice theory to identify likely predictors of scientists’ views about these communication goals. Results show that scientists most value communication designed to defend science from misinformation. Regression analyses reveal factors associated with valuing each of these specific communication goals.

The Threat, Self- External- and Response- Efficacy Model: Examining Climate Change Coverage in Leading U.S. Newspapers • Lauren Feldman, Rutgers University; P. Sol Hart, University of Michigan; Tijana Milosevic, American University • Drawing from the Extended Parallel Processing Model and political science concepts of efficacy, this study proposes the Threat, Self-, External-, and Response- (TSER) efficacy model for communicating about risks, such as climate change, that have a political component. We applied this model to a content analysis of news and opinion stories about climate change in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today between 2006-2011. The results indicate that U.S. newspapers represent the threat of climate change and efficacy for actions to address climate change in ways that are suboptimal for public engagement, and this is particularly true in The Wall Street Journal. Implications for public engagement and ideological polarization are discussed.

“It’s natural and healthy, but I don’t want to see it” The impact of entertainment television on breastfeeding attitudes • Katie Foss, Middle Tennessee State University; Ken Blake • This study examined entertainment television’s effect on breastfeeding attitudes. Based on results of a randomized-group experiment involving 364 students, this study finds that while participants generally held positive attitudes, exposing them to clips of prime-time fictional television depictions of breastfeeding negatively affected their attitudes, particularly after viewing an older child breastfeeding. Furthermore, watching a clip in which a breastfeeding woman is harassed in a restaurant seemed to improve comfort with viewing breastfeeding. Qualitative responses indicated that many participants held mixed feelings about the clips ranging from positive reactions to describing the breastfeeding videos as awkward, amusing, or irrelevant to their lives. The study concludes that entertainment television can affect attitudes toward breastfeeding, even in a population with few parents. It also speculates that pro-breastfeeding images in media could help normalize breastfeeding, creating a climate conducive to breastfeeding success.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Health Immersion Conference and Its Effects on Diet and Health Behavior Change: An Extension of the Health Belief Model • Desiree Markham, Texas Tech University; Liz Gardner, Texas Tech University • Surveys were conducted with attendees of a Health Immersion Conference to assess effectiveness of this diet-focused intervention and examine Health Belief Model tenets. Surveys assessed how likelihood to change diet practices following the conference, types of intended diet changes, and perceived obstacles to change. Findings illustrate the effectiveness of this health intervention and also consider the influence of benefits promoted via a cue to action and perceived susceptibility in predicting intentions to change health behavior.

On Pins and Needles: How Vaccines Are Portrayed on Pinterest • Jeanine Guidry, Virginia Commonwealth University • Vaccination is an effective public health measure that has been instrumental in greatly reducing the morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases. However, increasing numbers of parents question the safety of vaccines or refuse to vaccinate their children outright. The Internet is playing a significant role in this burgeoning anti-vaccination movement, since a growing number of people use the Internet to obtain health information, including information about vaccines. Given the role the Internet and specifically social media play in providing vaccination-related communication, and the fact that limited research that has been done to address this area, this study focused on the social media platform Pinterest and analyzed a total of 800 vaccine-related pins through a quantitative content analysis. The majority of the pins were anti-vaccine, and most were original posts as opposed to repins. Concerns about vaccine safety and side effects were an oft-repeated theme, as was the concept of conspiracy theory. Pro-vaccine pins elicited consistently more engagement than anti-vaccine pins. Health educators and public health organizations should be aware of these dynamics, since a successful health communication campaign should start with an understanding of what and how others communicate about the topic at hand.

Framing Climate Change: A Content Analysis of Chinese Mainstream Media from 2005 to 2012 • Jingjing Han, Indiana University; Shaojing Sun, Fudan University • As the largest greenhouse gas emitter and the second-largest economy, China is of great importance in global climate change mitigation. This study investigated the state of affairs of Chinese media coverage on climate change. Focusing on the period from 2005 to 2012, we analyzed a total of 874 news articles from five mainstream Chinese newspapers such as People’ s Daily, Xinhua Daily Telegraph, and Southern Metropolis Daily. In reference to media framing analysis, we identified six major frames that are prominent in reports regarding climate change, including conflict, collaboration, human interest, attribution of responsibility, science, and leadership. Results showed that the frequencies of frame usage varied significantly across the Chinese newspapers. Furthermore, the use of certain frames (e.g. conflict, collaboration) is associated with the employment of different information sources, among which government officials are the most frequently cited. This study also suggested that the Chinese media are more likely to frame climate change from a political perspective, rather than a scientific and environmental one.

Extending the impacts of hostile media perceptions: Influences on discussion and opinion polarization. • P. Sol Hart, University of Michigan; Lauren Feldman, Rutgers University; Connie Roser-Renouf, George Mason University; Anthony Leiserowitz, Yale University; Edward Maibach, George Mason University • Researchers recently have begun to examine how hostile media perceptions (HMP) may promote discursive activities aimed at correcting the media’s perceived negative influence. Extending this line of research, we examine how discussion, promoted by HMP, influences ideological polarization on the issue of climate change. Using nationally representative survey data , we test a moderated-mediation model which finds that HMP significantly impact support for climate mitigation policies through the mediator of discussion, and that the link between discussion and policy support is moderated in a three-way interaction with network heterogeneity and political ideology. Specifically, discussion in homogeneous networks increases opinion polarization by intensifying conservatives’ opinions, whereas discussion in heterogeneous networks decreases polarization by moderating liberals’ opinions. HMP also directly influences polarization.

The Role of Mass Media Related Risk Factors in Predicting Adolescents’ Risky Sexual Behaviors • Madhurima Sarkar, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital; Gary Heald, Florida State University • Numerous studies have documented the importance of risk factors in predicting adolescents’ sexual behaviors. This study examines the utility of mass media-related risk factors, as well as traditional risk factors, in predicting these behaviors. The integrated model in this study details the role of mass media exposure and perceptions of media messages when predicting both adolescents’ intentions to engage in sexual behaviors and their actual risky sexual behaviors.

The Cognitive Mediation Model: Communication, Information Processing, and Public Knowledge about Climate Change • Xianghong Peh, Nanyang Technological University; Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University • This study advances the cognitive mediation model by examining the factors influencing Singaporeans’ knowledge about climate change. Based on a nationwide RDD telephone survey of adult Singaporeans (N = 1,083), results showed that attention to newspapers was positively associated with elaboration but not selective scanning, attention to Internet news was positively associated with elaboration and selective scanning, and attention to television news was not associated with the two information processing strategies. Elaboration, in turn, was positively associated with knowledge but not selective scanning. Interpersonal discussion had a direct negative relationship with knowledge but an indirect positive relationship with knowledge via elaboration. Overall, our results support the model and offer a more nuanced understanding of the learning process in the context of climate change.

First-Person Effects of Emotional and Informational Messages in Strategic Environmental Communications Campaigns • Jennifer Hoewe, The Pennsylvania State University; Lee Ahern, Penn State • This study examined the first- and third-person effects of emotional and informational messages, particularly relating to the critical issue areas of energy, the environment, and global warming. Due to intense political polarization on such issues, it also explored the role of political party identification. The results of an experiment indicate that informational messages about the environment produce third-person effects, while environmental advertisements meant to evoke emotion caused first-person effects. Moreover, emotional environmental advertisements appealed more to Republicans and those who did not support a political party. As such, indirect, emotional messages appear to represent an opportunity for strategic environmental communicators to design campaigns that resonate with potentially unreceptive audiences.

Developing Effective Alcohol Abuse Prevention Campaign Messages for Fraternity Men and Sorority Women: Gender Differences in the Descriptive and Injunctive Norms Used in Media-Based Health Campaigns • Stacey J.T. Hust, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University; Erica Austin, Washington State University; Bruce Pinkleton, Washington State University Murrow Center for Media & Health Promotion; Anna Wheatley, Washington State University; Jason Wheeler, Washington State University • An important risk factor for heavy drinking and its consequences within college student populations is involvement in a fraternity or sorority (Bartholow et al., 2003). Fraternity and sorority members drink more frequently, more heavily, and experience more alcohol-related problems during college than their non-Greek peers (e.g. Borsari & Carey, 1999). The current study used a survey to explore fraternity men’s and sorority women’s behaviors and beliefs about alcohol consumption, to help develop appeals used in health-promotion campaigns. It further identifies the degree to which estimations of an in-group reference group is associated with members’ personal behaviors and beliefs associated with alcohol use. Our findings indicate fraternity men and sorority women similarly engage in negative behaviors related to alcohol use, and they are influenced by their perceptions of their peers’ behaviors and beliefs. Given this population is at great risk for alcohol abuse, there is significant need to develop prevention programs that are effective with this community.

The impacts of message framing and risk type in skin cancer prevention messages • Moon Lee; Hannah Kang, University of Florida • We explored how the effects of message framing and risk type interact with individuals’ prior experience and compared how these effects are different based on different types of advocated behaviors (i.e. avoiding tanning beds/sunbathing or using sunscreen). Through two experiments, we found three-way interactions among framing, risk type, and prior experience. The effects of message framing and risk type were different based on types of advocated behaviors.

The Corporate Medicine Show • Hyosun Kim, University of North Carolina -CH • Pharmaceutical advertising is everywhere and Direct-to-Consumer advertising of prescription drugs perceived as controversial issue in pharmaceutical market, for policy makers and for communication scholars. However, DTC advertising of pharmaceuticals is not a new phenomenon. Drug manufacturers have directly advertised their medications to consumers since the beginning of medicine. The FDA began to regulate drug advertising to protect consumers from misleading promotions, and their role has been expanded with the growth of pharmaceutical market. This study traces the history of pharmaceutical advertising in the 1930s when the 1938 Act expanded the scope of federal regulations and chaos still existed in the market. Benefit claims that drug manufacturers made were puffery and medications were portrayed as breakthrough in the ads. Also, none of the ads analyzed were not present risk information. The pharmaceutical advertisements in 1930 represent the FDA’s concerns in 1930.

Factors influencing risk perceptions of science issues: Comparing college students in the U.S. and South Korea • Hwalbin Kim, University of South Carolina; Robert McKeever, University of South Carolina; Jeong-Heon JC Chang, Korea University; Ju-Yong Ha, Inha University • This study examines the role of the media, interpersonal communication, and elaborative processing in shaping participants’ risk perception of nuclear and genetically modified organisms (GMO) technology in the United States and South Korea. The findings indicate that attentions to science television news and elaborative processing are positively related to risk perception of science issues. The effect of newspaper readership on risk perception about scientific issues was moderated by elaborative processing.

Attributions of Obesity Stigmas and News Source in Two Leading Newspapers in the United States and South Korea • Hyang-Sook Kim, St. Norbert College; Emily Gear, St. Norbert College; Mun-Young Chung; Hyunjin Kang, Penn State University • The worldwide increase in obesity rates calls for research about a potential contagion of obesity stigmas via newspapers. A content analysis of two leading newspapers in the United States and South Korea found more stories with obesity stigma in the American newspaper than in Korean. Obesity-stigma news included attributions of obesity for both societal and personal levels in both newspapers. Health expert sources cancelled out obesity stigma in news stories in the Korean newspaper only.

Barriers to Clinical Trial Participation: Comparing Perceptions and Knowledge of African American and White South Carolinians • Sei-Hill Kim; Andrea Tanner, University of South Carolina; Daniela Friedman; Caroline Foster, College of Charleston; Caroline Bergeron • Analyzing data from a survey of South Carolinians, this study examines how to better promote clinical trial participation specifically among African Americans. Findings revealed that African Americans were significantly less willing than whites to participate in a clinical trial. African Americans also had lower subjective and factual knowledge about clinical trials and perceived greater risk of participating in a clinical trial. Lack of subjective knowledge and perceived risk were significant predictors of African Americans’ willingness to participate.

Need for Affect and Cognition as Precursors to Risk Perception, Information Processing, and Behavioral Intent on the Use of Sunscreen with Nanoparticles • Se-Jin Kim, Colorado State University • The use of sunscreen with nanoparticles involves risks that are not yet fully known or verified. More importantly, behavioral attitude/intention of this behavior has not been investigated in the context of any theoretical model that includes personality attributes such as need for affect and need for cognition. This paper introduces and develops a hybrid theoretical model of risk-based behavioral attitude/intention based on the Theory of Reasoned Action, Dual Process Risk Perception, the Heuristic Systematic Model, and need for affect/need for cognition. The hybrid model proposes that personality attributes (need for affect/need for cognition), the Heuristic Systematic Model, Dual Processing Risk Perception (Affective- and Cognitive-Risk Perception) are antecedents to dependent variables from the Theory of Reasoned Action (attitude and behavioral intention towards sunscreen use). This study suggests a series of hypotheses and research questions using the topic of sunscreen with nanoparticles. The findings of the study indicate that the proposed model is adequately fit to what was suggested in the hypotheses and research questions.

Social Media, Risk Perception, and the Third Person Effect: The Case of Fukushima Radiation • Ji Won Kim, Syracuse University; Makana Chock, Syracuse University; Myojung Chung; Soyoung Jung, Syracuse University • This study examined the effects of social media context on perceptions of risk message. We investigated how reading news stories of the radioactive risk of Japanese fishes in the social media site would affect risk perception and third-person effect. A 2 (Facebook vs. news site) x 2 (narrative vs. factual) between-subjects experiment (N= 90) was conducted. Results showed that social media context increased personal risk perception and reduced 3PE.

Medialization of Science as a Predictor for Scientists’ Participation in Public Engagement • Eun Jeong Koh, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Linda Pfeiffer, Mass Communication and Environmental Resources, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dominique Brossard; Hans Peter Peters • An international mail survey of biomedical scientists shows that factors previously found to influence scientists’ participation in mediated science communication also are predictors of participation in direct public engagement activities. We analyze perceptions of “medialization of science,” which refers to the increasing orientation towards (and adaptation to) media criteria by scientists (Weingart, 1998). The effect of medialization on scientists’ participation in direct public engagement was significantly greater than on scientists’ participation in mediated communication.

Testing an Alternative to False Balance in Media Coverage of Controversial Science • Patrice Kohl; Soo Yun Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Yilang Peng; Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Eun Jeong Koh, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Controversy in science news accounts attracts audiences and draws public attention to important science issues. But when competing truth claims are given equal space in a news story despite the likelihood that one claim is more valid than others, this can result in a narrative structure known as “false balance.” Falsely balanced stories may unnecessarily heighten audience perceptions of uncertainty. In this study, we look at whether highlighting the preponderance of evidence bolstering one truth claim over others—a strategy we identify as “weight-of-evidence reporting”—might attenuate this effect. In comparing the impact of a weight-of-evidence narrative with the false balance story, our results suggest weight of evidence can play a role in reducing some of the uncertainty audiences may perceive, while false balance is linked with greater perceived scientific uncertainty.

The Perceived Familiarity Gap Hypothesis: Examining How Media Attention and Reflective Integration Relate to Perceived Familiarity of Nanotechnology in Singapore • Edmund Lee; Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University • The original knowledge gap hypothesis posits differential knowledge gains between people in the higher and lower socioeconomic status (SES) groups. This study put forth the notion of “perceived familiarity” as another dimension of knowledge and proposes a complementary model—the “perceived familiarity gap hypothesis”—that examines how media attention and reflective integration are associated with gaps in familiarity between the higher and lower SES groups in the context of nanotechnology in Singapore. Significant three way-and two-way interactions between education, attention to media and reflective integration were found—higher television usage closed the perceived familiarity gap between the higher and lower SES groups and for individuals who engaged in higher elaborative processing and more interpersonal discussion. Newspaper attention on the other hand widened the perceived familiarity gap between the higher and lower SES groups among those who engaged more in elaborative processing. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

Social Influence on Soda Consumption Behaviors among International Students Residing in the United States • Xuan Zhu, University of minnesota; Lauren Gray, University of Minnesota; Jiyoon Lee, University of Minnesota • Despite media propagation of the deleterious health effects of soda consumption, the U.S. still has one of the world’s highest soda consumption rates. Peer modeling and normative behavior theories are used to examine the relationship between soda consumption and student status (U.S. or U.S.-residing international). Our survey-based research reveals differences between the two groups in actual and perceived soda consumption. Perceived norms are shown to contribute to the increase in soda consumption.

The Influence of Socio-Cultural Factors on Social Stigma of Suicide • HANNAH LEE, Ewha Womans University • The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of socio-cultural characteristics on stigma of suicide. The results indicated that exposure to suicide prevention information was associated with low level of stigma, while exposure to news coverage of suicidal events was associated with high level of stigma. In particular, cultural characteristics were closely connected to the stigma of suicide. These findings have important implications for suicide prevention and also for developing culturally appropriate interventions.

Seeking and Learning: Examining Selective Exposure to Media Coverage of A Controversial Scientific Issue • Xuan Liang; Heather Akin, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This study explores the causal relationship between information seeking and knowledge about nanotechnology. Using a two-wave dataset from a nationwide online panel survey, we find reciprocal relationships between information seeking behavior and knowledge. Specifically, we find that seeking counter-attitudinal information conducive to knowledge gain but seeking information consistent with pre-existing attitudes suppresses knowledge levels. Participants with lower levels of knowledge about nanotechnology tend to be more engaged in information seeking. Different media, including the use of television, social media and other online websites, also impact factual knowledge and information seeking behavior.

From Education to Communication: Influences on Health • Ming-Ching Liang • Using the 2009 Annenberg National Health Communication Survey (ANHCS 2009) data, the roles of social network, print media use, and health information seeking behavior (HISB) in predicting health were examined. Controlling for education, social network and HISB exhibit positive associations with health status, but negative associations with diet and perceived quality of care (PQC). Print media use is a positive contributor to PQC and health, but has an insignificant relationship with dietary practices.

Beyond Gory or Happy Sensation on Facebook: Effects of Emotionality in Anti-drunk Driving PSAs on College Students’ Drunk-driving Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions • Chen Lou, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • Driving under the influence of alcohol presents a growing public health concern. With increasing investment in alcohol marketing via social media, the current study uses a 3 (emotional tone: positive vs. negative vs. coactive) x 3 (message repetition) within-subject factorial design to investigate the effects of exposure to anti-drunk driving messages shared via Facebook on drunk driving attitudes and behavioral intentions. More specifically the study investigated how emotional tone affects attitudes toward the PSAs, the issue of drunk driving, and intentions to drive while tipsy and while drunk. Furthermore, the study explored how attitudes (toward the PSA and drunk driving), descriptive and injunctive norms, and past drinking behaviors predict intentions to drive while tipsy and drunk. Results showed that PSAs with negative tone was most effective in eliciting unfavorable attitude toward PSAs and drunk driving, and lowest likelihood to drive while feeling tipsy or drunk in near future. Findings are discussed in relation to behavioral change models in light of anti-drunk-driving social media interventions.

Traversing Psychological Distance: Climate Change Framing, Emotions and Support for Policies • Hang Lu, Cornell University • The climate-change-as-distant issue has been of concern for many communicators and policy makers. This study applied the Construal Level Theory of Psychological Distance to examining what types of messages might be more effective in augmenting intentions to adopt pro-environmental behaviors and support climate change mitigation policies. A 2 (Temporal: Distant vs. Proximal) x 2 (Spatial: Distant vs. Proximal) x 2 (Social: Distant vs. Proximal) quasi-experiment was conducted among 483 participants. The results indicate significant interaction effects between temporal and social dimensions on pro-environmental behaviors and significant main effects of temporal dimension on support for mitigation policies. In addition, three discrete emotions, worry, sympathy and anxiety, were found to fully mediate some of these relationships. Limitations and future implications are also discussed.

Framing Climate Change in Psychological Distance Terms: A Content Analysis of National and Local U.S. Newspapers • Hang Lu, Cornell University; Naa Amponsah Dodoo, University of Florida • The concern around many Americans’ perception that climate change is a distant issue has been soaring in recent years. Although research on media coverage of climate change has been well-documented and varied in a wide range of topics, few studies have tried to look at media coverage of climate change from the perspective of psychological distance. This study employed content analysis as the primary technique to examine the portrayal of climate change in relation to psychological distance dimensions in two national and thirty-six local newspapers over a 13-month period. The results indicate that climate change is most likely to be presented as to pose impacts in a very distant or unspecified future, at the globe-level or unspecified locations, and with high certainty. Temporal, spatial and social dimensions of climate change frames were positively correlated. There was a negative association between changes in climate change frames and changes in public perceptions of climate change. Implications and limitations are also discussed.

Evaluating Food Labels and Food Messages: An Experimental Study of the Impact of Message Format and Product Type on Evaluations of Magazine Food Advertisements • Yongick Jeong, Louisiana State University; Lisa Lundy • Using a 2 (gain vs. loss frame) X 3 (organic, non-GMO, and antibiotics free products) mixed-repeated-measures design, this study examines how message format and product type influenced the effectiveness of food labels in magazine food advertisements. Results indicate that product type and food labels were more influential than message format (gain/loss frame). Overall, participants viewed organic foods more favorably than non-GMO or antibiotics free foods. Theoretical and marketing implications are discussed.

Tracking a healthy lifestyle: College students’ attitudes toward the adoption of health and fitness mobile applications • Paige Madsen, University of Iowa; Melissa Kampa; Melissa Zimdars • To encourage the development and maintenance of healthy among college students, Student Health Services at a large Midwestern university implemented a health and wellness program that was poorly utilized by students. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the viability and student interest in a health-related mobile phone app that could be used in conjunction with a university Student Health Services program to give students easy access to track their health and fitness goals using their cell phones. This study used intercept interviews to explore current mobile app use, attitudes toward the use and functions of health and fitness apps, perceived barriers to their use, and perceptions a health app sponsored by the university. Results indicated that 80% of the sample used a smart device, and nearly half were using some type of health app. Participants indicated that they were interested in app functions that would allow them to connect directly to the recreation center on campus – to either see fitness class schedules or gym equipment availability. Participants were less interested in apps that would connect them to others via social media or apps intended to help manage mental health. Student concerns included privacy and the cost of apps. This exploratory study suggests that apps are a good option for universities to encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyles among students, and for students to efficiently manage their own health and fitness goals.

Setting The Nutritional Agenda: An Analysis of Nutrition Blog Sourcing • Shana Meganck • This research study analyzed the sources of nutrition blog information in order to increase understanding of how our nutritional agenda is set by bloggers. Focusing on 20 nutrition blogs, the study content analyzed 3,156 posts, and conducted in-depth interviews with the bloggers. The findings showed that nutrition bloggers are sourcing half of the time, citing a variety of sources, and finding and choosing sources in various ways.

Understanding the Effect of Affective Priming on Health News Processing and Health Information Seeking Intention Over Time • Alexandra Merceron, University of Connecticut; Yi Wang, University of Connecticut; Dana Rogers; Christina DeVoss • This quantitative experiment (N=236) builds on recent research on media priming effects to explore the impact of primed affective responses on reader’s assessments of the credibility of health journalism, and subsequent health information seeking intentions and behavior. Potential mediating and moderating factors, such as type of affect elicited from priming (positive or negative), content evaluation (topic interest, prior knowledge, news discussion), and health self-efficacy were also measured to further explain the relationship between affective priming and health information seeking related attitudes and behavior.

Framing Climate Change: An Examination of Environmental Agency Websites in Costa Rica, Norway, the United States and China • Jill Capotosto, Elon University; Barbara Miller, Elon University • This study examined the framing of climate change on the environmental agency websites of countries with vastly different environmental performance scores—Costa Rica, Norway, the U.S., and China. The depth with which the sites covered climate change sources varied greatly, as did the level of action (individual, national or international) emphasized to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. This study sheds light on communication that reflects and/or encourages environmentally progressive agendas.

Marketplace advocacy by the fossil fuel industries: Issues of identity and influence in environmental policy • Barbara Miller, Elon University; T. Kenn Gaither, Elon University • Through the lens of the cultural-economic model of public relations, this study used a semiological approach to examine strategic communication by the industry trade groups representing the energy industries of coal (American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity) and petroleum (American Petroleum Institute). The study identified four prominent identities created by mass media advertisements from the ACCCE and API to enhance public support while reducing concern for climate change initiatives.

The effects of survivors’ social support on psycho-social adjustment of newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients in an online social support group • TAE JOON MOON, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Woohyun Yoo, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Ming-Yuan Chih, University of Kentucky; Dhavan Shah, University of Wisconsin – Madison; David Gustafson, University of Wisconsin – Madison • This study delineates (1) which types of social support BC survivors provide to newly-diagnosed BC patients in an online social support group and (2) how the survivors’ support is different from that of newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients by using a systematic computer-aided content analysis. The present study further investigates (3) how the survivors’ support contributes to a psycho-social adjustment of newly-diagnosed patients. The results indicate that, compared to newly diagnosed patients, BC survivors provided emotional support more frequently. However, there is no difference in provision of information support between survivors and new patients. Survivors’ emotional support contributes to improvement of new patients’ psycho-social outcomes (e.g., BC related concern, perceived social support, depression), whereas both emotional and informational support provided by new patients are not associated with the psycho-social adjustment of newly-diagnosed patients.

Hope and the hyperlink: Drivers of message sharing in a Twitter cancer network • Jessica Myrick, Indiana University; Avery Holton, University of Utah; Itai Himelboim, University of Georgia; Brad Love • Social networking sites (SNSs) such as Twitter have become an important part of health communication, providing a means for increased awareness and knowledge for a number of conditions. Cancer ranks among the most salient health topics on Twitter with thousands of individuals and organizations creating accounts, lists, and hashtag communities to share information and provide social support. Yet, research has thus far focused on the use of social media in public discourses and community building surrounding specific forms of cancer rather than support networks set up for cancer more broadly. This study extends such work by examining how users of a general cancer network on Twitter offer social support and link to resources. This study also analyzes how Twitter content might drive message sharing within the cancer network, a key determinant of online community stability and growth. The results indicate that cancer-focused communities on Twitter may foster information sharing and messages of hope, sadness, and encouragement while frequently linking to grassroots efforts, health professionals, news media, and advocacy resources. Social support in the form of hope and the inclusion of hyperlinks to advocacy websites were the greatest drivers of message sharing in the sample studied here. These findings help advance current theoretical considerations pertaining to health communication and social media while also providing critical insights for health and health communication practitioners.

The Partisan Brain: How Dissonant Science Messages Lead Conservatives and Liberals to (Dis)trust science • Erik Nisbet; Kathryn Cooper; R. Kelly Garrett • There has been deepening concern about political polarization in public attitudes toward the scientific community. The “intrinsic thesis” attributes this polarization to psychological deficiencies among conservatives as compared to liberals. The “contextual thesis” makes no such claims about inherent psychological differences between conservatives and liberals, but rather points to interacting institutional and psychological factors as the forces driving polarization. We evaluate the evidence for both theses in the context of developing and testing a theoretical model of audience response to dissonant science communication. Conducting a national online experiment (N=1500), we examined audience reactions to both conservative-dissonant and liberal-dissonant science messages and consequences for institutional trust in the scientific community. Our results suggest liberals and conservatives alike react negatively to dissonant science communication with resulting diminished trust in the scientific community. We discuss how our findings link to the larger debate about political polarization of science and implication for science communicators.

Causal Attribution of Health Status: Media Trust, Information Seeking, and Optimism • Hyun Jee Oh; Hyehyun Hong • This study employed 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) data to examine antecedents and consequences of causal attribution of health status. Attribution theory was used as a theoretical framework. When applied to health communication, the theory suggests people have a tendency to attribute either internal (individual) or external (social) causes to health status. The study results indicated that personal cancer history and media trust antecede internal attribution of health status. Internal attribution then positively affected optimism about cancer and information-seeking and healthy lifestyle behaviors. Structuring equation modeling showed that all three path models from media trust to attribution to three consequences of attribution (optimism, information-seeking, and healthy behavior) were significant. This shows that media can encourage internal attribution by increasing trust in health information they provide. Providing quality health information that meets public needs and wants is therefore imperative. Other practical and theoretical implications are further discussed.

How Fear-Arousing News Messages Affect Risk Perceptions and Intention to Talk about Risk • Hye-Jin Paek, Hanyang University; SANG-HWA OH; Thomas Hove, Hanyang University • Applying the impersonal/differential-impact hypotheses and fear theories, this study demonstrates how fear-arousing media messages about risk can affect personal- and societal level risk perception, as well as intention to talk with family and friends. Analysis of a survey of Korean adults indicates that fear-arousing media messages about carcinogenic hazards and mad cow disease affected both personal- and societal-level risk perceptions and interpersonal communication directly and indirectly through risk perceptions.

Informing the Publics during Health Disaster: A Crisis Management Approach to News Media Responses to Flu Pandemic • Po-Lin Pan, Arkansas State University; Juan Meng, University of Georgia • Dividing crisis management process into three macrostages, this content analysis examined how news media responded to health disaster in terms of (1) news frames, (2) mortality subjects, (3) vaccine problems, (4) evaluation approaches to risk magnitudes, and (5) news sources in three crisis management stages. Results showed that news media used various framing strategies to inform the publics in different stages. The frames of health risk, societal problems, political/legal issues, and prevention and health education were more frequently used in the pre-crisis stage, while the medical/scientific frame was regularly used in the post-crisis stage to highlight medical treatment and scientific research in dealing with the health disaster. Evaluation approaches were also employed differently in three stages. Qualitative approach was mostly used in the pre-crisis stage, while quantitative approach and statistical approach were commonly used in the post-crisis stage. Health professionals were widely used as news sources in all stages to increase the publics’ awareness of health crisis severity, while government officials and politicians could repeatedly appear to function strategically toward the achievement of public-institution effectiveness in the pre-crisis stage.

Motivating Citizens: An Assessment of Individual Motivation to Share Warning Messages through Social Networking Sites • Mimi Perreault, University of Missouri; Seoyeon Hong, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Grace Park, University of Missouri School of Journalism • The current experiment investigated how individual motivations in psychological process (Self-Determination Theory) and personality tendency (Motivation Activation Measures) predict their likelihood to broadcast warnings through social networking sites during disasters (e.g., natural disasters, or gun shooting). Not only individuals differ in responses to disasters based on their motivational reactivity but also intrinsic motivation and relativism are explaining the variance of warning intentions. Interestingly, level of defensive system activation is associated intrinsic motivation while appetitive system score is associated with extrinsic motivation. Findings of the current study provide meaningful contributions for risk communication researchers and practitioners (e.g., FEMA) who intend to develop targeted campaign messages in disasters.

Opinion toward Nuclear Energy Use and Constructions of Health and Environmental Risks in Post-Fukushima News. • David J. Park, FIU-SJMC; Juliet Pinto, FIU-SJMC; Weirui Wang, Florida International University • This paper analyzes constructions of opinion toward nuclear energy use, as well as environmental and health risk in international news coverage of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster between the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), and the U.S. New York Times. Our results indicate the German newspapers used more diverse sources including opinionated and anti-nuclear sources than the U.S. paper. In addition, our results also noted that environmental risk was rarely mentioned in either newspaper regardless of the source’s opinion. The lack of sources covering environmental risks may be influenced by journalistic routines, news values and lack of access to information by Japanese officials. Opinion toward nuclear energy made a difference if health risk was mentioned within the New York Times, while the sources’ opinion in the German sample did not influence whether health risk was mentioned. Pro-nuclear energy use sources did not mention health risk compared with sources with other opinions. The variance may also suggest the sources and the newspapers place a hierarchy on human risk versus environmental risk. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for policy outcomes.

Defining a Medical Condition: A Qualitative Framing Analysis of Magazine Coverage of Fibromyalgia, 1980-2011 • Joy Rodgers, University of Florida • Recent marketing efforts for fibromyalgia drugs have renewed the debate on the medical classification of the pain condition. Framing studies have shown media coverage of certain topics to affect public attitudes. This study breaks new ground by identifying the dominant framing of fibromyalgia in 30 years of magazine coverage. Little to no shift was found in the framing of fibromyalgia, signaling a need for media and scientists to work together in providing service to patients.

Temporal framing and motivated reasoning: Can temporal cues moderate backlash toward worldview-incongruent environmental messages? • Sungjong Roh, Cornell University; Katherine McComas, Cornell University; Laura Rickard, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Daniel Decker, Cornell University • This study investigated how temporal distance frames increase or decrease boomerang effects of value-incongruent environmental messages by changing behavioral intentions to engage in conservation. Results from two randomized experiments show that a temporally distal frame for an emerging wildlife could reduce backfire effects on conservation intentions for people low in biocentric values when exposed to messages emphasizing human attribution of responsibility—namely, value-incongruent information—whereas a temporally proximal frame exacerbated a backlash against such messages.

Exploring Health Literacy, its Measurement and Predictors among African American College Students • Judith Rosenbaum, Albany State University; Benjamin Johnson, The Ohio State University; Amber Deane, Albany State University • Health literacy is increasingly seen as a solution to health disparities and poor health outcomes, and various instruments have been developed to measure it. In an exploratory pilot study, we tested the most recent and comprehensive measure of health literacy: the HLSI-SF. The results provided interesting insight into media use as a possible predictor of health literacy, but also raised questions about the instrument and how exactly to measure and define health literacy.

Cognitive and emotional risk perceptions mediate the association between news media use and food consumption intention: Analyzing food safety outbreaks in East Asia • Minsun Shim, Inha University; Myoungsoon You, Seoul National University • Much research on risk perception and health behavior has examined cognitive dimensions of risk but not emotional dimensions. To address this gap, this study examines both cognitive risk perception (perceived risk of susceptibility and severity) and emotional risk perception (worry) in the context of food safety risks in East Asia. We investigate their roles in independently and jointly predicting intention to consume outbreak-associated food products, as well as mediating the influences of news exposure and attention on intention. Data from a nationwide survey in South Korea (N = 1,500) lent support for our hypotheses in both cases of processed food from China and seafood from Japan. Our findings indicate: (1) both perceived risk and worry were negatively associated with food consumption intention, and the relationship between perceived risk and intention was stronger among those higher in worry; (2) news attention had stronger association with risk perceptions than news exposure, and it moderated the relationship between news exposure and risk perceptions; (3) perceived risk and worry mediated the associations between news media use and food consumption intention. Implications and limitations of the findings are discussed.

The power of narratives in health blogs: Identification as an instigator of self-persuasion • Carmen Stavrositu • This study examined the extent to which narrative vs. non-narrative blogs instigate self-persuasion processes and, ultimately, behavioral intentions related to skin cancer prevention. Participants (N = 190) read one of two versions of a blog post about skin cancer that described a blogger’s journey with skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, and included specific recommendations for skin cancer prevention. The post was written in either narrative or non-narrative style. Findings indicate that narrative blog formats reduce counterarguments while increasing pro-attitudinal arguments. These effects were shown to emerge as a result of higher identification with the blogger in the narrative vs. the non-narrative blog condition. Furthermore, the decrease in counterarguments and increase in pro-attitudinal arguments were associated with a stronger behavioral intentions, lending support to the notion that narratives and identification not only inhibit counterarguments, but promote pro-attitudinal arguments, which essentially translate to self-persuasion. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as suggestions for future research, are discussed.

Buzz Agents and a Teen Public Health Social Marketing Campaign: Impact on Attitudes and Behaviors • Amy Struthers, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Ming Wang, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • Researchers developed a public health campaign for teens focused on obesity prevention, based on social marketing and buzz marketing principles, to test a series of hypotheses postulating that use of these principles would result in positive attitudes toward the campaign among the most engaged members of the target audience, the buzz agents, leading to positive attitudes as well as positive self-reported behavior changes involving fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. Results largely support the hypotheses, with the exception of vegetable intake. The researchers propose that the buzz agent concept may provide a model for reaching adolescents most effectively with public health messages.

Cueing attitudes and behaviors about climate change: Heuristic processing and social norm cues on YouTube • Leona Yi-Fan Su, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison; James T. Spartz, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Normative cues embedded in a new media platform such as YouTube may shape viewers’ perceived importance of the video topic and willingness to seek more information. Study results suggest that the “number of views” cue can have subtle but significant influences on participants’ attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, individuals who indicated heuristically processing the video were likely to assign greater importance to the issue and seek more information under the “high number of views” condition.

Headlining energy issues: A content analysis of ethanol headlines in the U.S. elite press • Bruno Takahashi, Michigan State University; Carol Terracina Hartman, Michigan State University; Katheryn Amann, Michigan State University; Mark Meisner, International Environmental Communication Association • Few studies examining media coverage of environmental and science issues have focused on headlines, which are considered relevance optimizers. This study examined the headlines about ethanol in the elite U.S. press. We focused on themes, issue attributes, tone, and actors. Results show a dominance of policy and economic themes, similar to other studies on biofuels. Differences with those studies are found in the presence of actors, where ethanol industry is more prevalent than governmental actors.

The Framing of the Child Computer User by Taiwanese Children’s Newspapers • Yue Tan; Ping Shaw • This paper examines the media’s framing of child computer users in Taiwan and its evolution with the Internet diffusion (2000- 2011). Using a content analysis of articles published in the most popular children’s newspaper, we found significant longitudinal changes. Specifically, the construction of children changed from “needy” and “victimized” users to “successful” and “dangerous” users, and the agents of action shifted from children to schools and government, while maintaining an emphasis on the cognitive gains.

Dodging the debate and dealing the facts: Using research and community partnerships to promote understanding of the Affordable Care Act • Andrea Tanner, University of South Carolina; Otis Owens, University of South Carolina; Diana Sisson; Vance Kornegay, University of South Carolina; Caroline Bergeron; Daniela Friedman; Megan Weis; Lee Patterson; Teresa Windham • This study reports on an innovative, community-based effort to promote awareness and understanding of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, this study assesses the current knowledge, perceptions, and communication sources and needs regarding the ACA among adults in one southeastern county in an effort to determine the feasibility of establishing the public library as a trusted and non-partisan source of ACA-related information. Results of formative research are discussed and campaign development activities are chronicled.

Truth, Objectivity, and False Balance in Public Health Reporting: Michele Bachmann, HPV, and “Mental Retardation” • Ryan Thomas, Missouri School of Journalism; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Amanda Hinnant, Missouri School of Journalism • This content analysis of media coverage of Michele Bachmann’s erroneous comments that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation aims to understand the relationship between truth and objectivity in public health reporting. Of 206 articles analyzed, under half provided correction and less than 30% provided a counterpoint. We also found health reporters tended to engage in truth-telling and objectivity more than political reporters. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Why I seek information: An integrative approach to explore the impact of discrete emotion on information seeking about flood risks • JIUN-YI TSAI, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This present study investigates the relationships between cognitive appraisals and emotion and the impact of emotion (anger) on information seeking behavior with regard to flood risks. We develop and test an integrative model to explore how unique sets of cognitive appraisal patters are associated with anger and how anger relates to key cognitive predictors in the RISP model. Results indicated that cognitive appraisals of responsibility, personal control, certainty and importance significantly predicted emotional reactions of anger. Emotional responses of anger not only directly motivated information seeking behavior but also triggered more need for information. Informational subjective norms, information insufficiency and perceived information gathering capacity continued to serve as positive predictors of risk information seeking. Perceived knowledge and appraisals of importance exerted a direct relationship with effortful information seeking. The sense of being uncertain about what happened in terms of flooding associated with higher information sufficiency threshold. Implications for risk communication theory and practice are discussed.

The Influence of Attitudes, Beliefs and Involvement on Environmental Selective Exposure and Subsequent Reinforcement Effects • Melanie Sarge, Texas Tech University; Matthew VanDyke, Texas Tech University • While research suggests predispositions as predictors of selective exposure, empirical investigations utilizing environmental information as the exposure stimuli are limited. The current study collected data in three waves; during the second wave, selective exposure (time spent) with news articles discussing environmental topics was unobtrusively recorded. Results revealed attitude and involvement as significant positive predictors of environmental selective exposure. Additionally, motivations to reinforce self-related attitudes and confirm self-efficacy beliefs through environmental selective exposure are observed.

Nationalizing a global phenomenon: A study of how the press portrays climate change in four different countries • Hong Vu • This study investigates the news media coverage of climate change in four different countries. Using the framing approach, this study identifies the connection between several national socioeconomic and environmental traits and the resulting portrayals of climate change. Although global warming/climate change is a global issue, which affects every country in the world, the news coverage of it varies from country to country. Such a variation is related to each country’s level of development, climate performance index ranking, and climate severity. The findings of this research contribute to framing literature by assessing and comparing frame use in a national context, filling in the gap in the application of framing as a communication theoretical framework.

“Measles epidemic … NOT!”: A fantasy theme analysis of vaccine critics’ online responses to negative media attention • Denise Vultee, Wayne State University • Outbreaks of measles in both California and New York in March 2014 drew increased negative media attention to parents who elect not to vaccinate their children. In response to this heightened scrutiny and criticism, many of these parents and their advocates turned to a variety of online venues to reaffirm their values and defend their choice. This study uses symbolic convergence theory and its associated rhetorical approach, fantasy theme analysis, to examine this discourse for insight into the rhetorical vision shared by vaccine critics in the U.S. It is intended as a step toward providing health communicators with a better understanding of the attitudes, beliefs, and values of this audience as they work to design messages about the risks and benefits of vaccination.

News, Health Decisions and the Microwave Society: Female Consumers’ Beliefs about Coverage of Medical Overtreatment • Kim Walsh-Childers, University of Florida; Jordan Neil, University of Florida; Jennifer Braddock; Ginger Blackstone, University of Florida • Health news may influence consumers’ knowledge and perceptions of medical; this may be especially true for women, who pay more attention to health information and tend to play more active roles in health decision-making for themselves and their family members. This study examined female consumers’ beliefs about overtreatment and about the role of news coverage in influencing their own health decisions. Focus group interviews with 20 adult women revealed six themes: overtreatment equals over-use of drugs, tests and specialists; the role of health professionals; the role of patients; the problem of time; costs and profits; and the role of the media. The women complained that health professionals spend too little time with patients, fail to listen to patients’ concerns or adequately answer their questions, and are more concerned about avoiding lawsuits and maximizing incomes than about providing the most efficient and effective care. Patients – most often “other” patients rather than the participants themselves – were seen as contributing to overmedication due to their desire for a “quick fix” to their health problems; however, they tended to see screening tests as useful precautions that enable consumers to be “better safe than sorry.” The women regarded the entire health care system, as well as the media industry, as driven by profits. They viewed health news, in general, with great skepticism and wanted journalists to provide more complete information about medical interventions, including “balanced” information about risks, benefits, the quality of evidence supporting new interventions, and conflicts of interest among doctors and researchers.

One Step Forward, Five Steps Back: Changes in News Coverage of Medical Interventions • Kim Walsh-Childers, University of Florida; Jennifer Braddock; Cristina Rabaza, University of Florida College of Journalism; Gary Schwitzer • In an increasingly complicated and demanding health news environment, offers reviews of the stories produced by major media outlets as a measure by which journalists and the public can assess the success or failure of health coverage across 10 criteria for quality reporting. This study produced an analysis of those reviews from 2005 to 2013, indicating significant declines in key areas. On average, the stories reviewed during 2010-2013 successfully met just less than half of the criteria. Changes over time in meeting the criteria were related to outlet type and story topic, with television and newspapers showing declines on the greatest number of criteria; the largest number of criteria showing statistically significant declines over time were for reviews of stories about medical treatments other than drugs or surgery. The paper discusses possible causes for the declines and the potential implications.

Impact of Influential Sources on Their Followers: Investigating Mental Illness Discussion in Chinese Social Media • Weirui Wang, Florida International University; Yu Liu • A content analysis was conducted to examine depression-related discourses by public opinion leaders and elite media in Chinese social media, as well as the impact of these discourses on their followers. The study revealed that stereotypes presented by these influential users often triggered stigma or reduced support among their followers. Environmental and genetic attributions reduced stigma. The recovery and treatment information was found to be a double-edged factor and should be cautiously used.

Exploring Latina College Students’ Involvement with Tanning and Skin Cancer Messages • Paula L. Weissman, American University; Susan Allen • This exploratory focus group study used the situational theory of publics (STP) to examine the skin cancer-related attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of Latina college students. The findings reported provide insight into the motivations for tanning behaviors that put these women at risk for skin cancer; highlight how underserved Latinas are by current skin cancer prevention campaigns; identify the need for culturally specific campaigns for this audience group; and suggest numerous directions for future research.

Testing Predictors of Physical Activity Among a Sample of Hispanic Adults Using the O-S-O-R Model • John Wirtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Supathida Kulpavaropas • This paper presents a test of the O-S-O-R model (Markus & Zajonc, 1985) using data collected from a sample of Hispanic adults (N = 288). Exercise identity and ethnic identity were defined as preorientations (O1); physical activity- and health-related media use were stimuli (S); reflective integration and conversation about physical-activity related media were defined as postorientations (O2); and the outcome was physical activity (R). A path analysis revealed that exercise identity influenced both types of media use, as well as behavior. Health-related media use then predicted reflective integration and conversation, while PA-related media use only influenced conversation. Finally, reflective integration and conversation influenced levels of physical activity. Results of the study suggest that identity may act as a filter for media selection and that conversation serves as a link between media use and behavior. The results also suggest that practitioners should consider using mass media messages that encourage physical activity-related media use and conversation as potential precursors to regular physical activity when targeting Hispanic populations.

Does a Cyber Attack Motivate Action? Comparing Perceived Risks By Victims Of A Recent Attack • Ronald Yaros, University of Maryland • Applying temporal and physical distance in construal level theory (Trope & Liberman, 2003) to the risk information seeking and processing model (Griffin & Dunwoody, 2000), this study (N = 350) measured cyber risk perceptions. The “near” sample read an alert about a data breach of their personal information. The “distant” sample read news about future risks. Results suggest risk perceptions, worry, trust, and intentions to take precautionary measures were affected by construal level and age.

The Effect of “Headless Fatties” vs. Whole Beings in Obesity Health Campaign Imagery • Rachel Young, University of Iowa; Roma Subramanian, University of Missouri; Amanda Hinnant, Missouri School of Journalism • Recent campaigns with text and images depicting obesity as the effect of individual behaviors sparked concern that an emphasis on individual determinants may lead to stigmatization of overweight or obese people. In this 3 x 2 experiment (n = 252), we sought to determine whether stigmatizing images and text led to differences in antifat attitudes and health-related behavioral intentions, and whether effects were moderated by weight status. We found that stigmatizing images in particular prompted significant differences in negative attitudes toward overweight individuals and also in behavioral intentions to increase healthy behavior or to limit unhealthy behavior. Our results demonstrate that stigmatizing images might be effective at stigmatizing the behaviors that lead to obesity, but an intended consequence of these images is that they also contribute to stigma experienced by overweight people, which results in social and emotional harm.

Tweeting flu and setting agenda on Twitter network • Gi Woong Yun, Bowling Green State University; David Morin, Utah Valley University; SangHee Park; Claire Y. Joa; Brett Labbe; Jongsoo Lim; Sooyoung Lee, Sogang University; Dae-Won Hyun • This paper had two main goals. First, to accurately establish the network agenda setters regarding flu information based on the amount of replies and mentions. The twitter accounts were categorized as media, a health related individuals, organizations, government, an individual, in order to test the relationship between centrality measures of the accounts and their categories. The second goal was to examine the relationship between centrality measures and Twitter specific characteristics of each individual account, including the number of tweets and followers as well as the number of accounts followed and tweets favorited. By collecting this type of Twitter data, it is possible to obtain accurate centrality measures, through the social network analysis method, and gain a better understanding of the relationship between account characteristics and centrality measurements. Result indicated if the media and organizational Twitter accounts were present, they did set agenda on the Twitter network. Also, the novel research framework adopted in this research showed some potential.

The Efficacy of Chinese News Coverage of Tobacco Control: A Comparison between Media Agenda and Policy Agenda • Di Zhang; Baijing Hu • This study examines Chinese news coverage of tobacco control between 2010 and 2012, which is compared with the China Tobacco Control Program (2012-2015), a recent national policy initiative. The study found that the relative salience of second-level tobacco control issues on media agenda has a positive and moderate influence on policy agenda. The results suggest that media advocacy is a very useful tool for tobacco control practitioners to influence policy agenda in China, but its use has limits because of the obstruction from the tobacco industry, Chinese cultural norms and the way policymakers use media in policymaking process.

2014 Abstracts

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