Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk 2015 Abstracts

Embodying Nature’s Experiences: Taking the Perspective of Nature with Immersive Virtual Environments to Promote Connectedness With Nature • Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, University of Georgia; Jeremy Bailenson, Stanford University; Elise Ogle, Stanford University; Joshua Bostick, Stanford University • Immersive virtual environments (IVEs) use digital devices to simulate experiential sensory information, producing simulations that closely mimic real-life. Two experiments tested the efficacy of IVEs in promoting feelings of connectedness with nature by virtually taking the perspective of animals threatened by climate change. Experiment 1 found that embodying the sensory rich experiences of a cow in IVE led to greater spatial presence, body transfer, and ultimately more connectedness with nature than watching the experience on video. Experiment 2 extended these findings and confirmed that embodying the experiences of coral in an acidifying virtual ocean led to greater spatial presence than watching it on video, increasing the perceived imminence of the risk immediately following experimental treatments. The heightened imminence of risk resulted in greater connectedness with nature one week following experimental treatments. Theoretical implications on extending the concept of perspective taking from interpersonal to human-animal relationships with IVEs are discussed.

How Advertising Taught Us How to Consume Fruits and Vegetables in the Early Twentieth Century • Michelle Nelson, UIUC; Susmita Das, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Regina Ahn, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • Fruit and vegetable consumption helps prevent diseases, and the World Health Organization recommends increased daily intakes; 100+ years ago advertisers begin selling these healthier foods. Analysis of print advertisements from the early twentieth century reveals the ways that advertisers informed the public about how and why to consume fruits and vegetables. National advertisers presented them as ‘tonics’ while prescribing daily doses. Competition among fruits and vegetables resulted in mixed messages for consumers about fresh produce.

Public Attitudes on Synthetic Biology: Mapping Landscapes and Processes • Heather Akin; Kathleen M. Rose; Dietram Scheufele; Molly J. Simis; Dominique Brossard; Michael A. Xenos; Elizabeth A. Corley • This research provides one of the first representative overviews to date of U.S. public attitudes towards synthetic biology. We first outline descriptive results from a 2014 survey of U.S. adults to contextualize individuals’ awareness, personal importance, and knowledge of synthetic biology and compare these to responses about other science issues. We assess respondents’ attitudes toward relevant policies, risk-benefit perceptions, and overall support for synthetic biology. We then analyze how these characteristics impact individuals’ support for the use of this emerging science and assess how values and predispositions, including religiosity, deference to scientific authority, and trust in scientists, might interact to influence support. Our descriptive results suggest that many respondents do not feel informed about synthetic biology or believe it is personally important, which is comparable to responses about nanotechnology. However, on average, individuals express more reservations and more concern for the moral downside of synthetic biology than other issues. Our multivariate analyses show that education, religiosity, deference to science, knowledge, net risk-benefit perceptions, and trust in scientists affect support for synthetic biology. We also find significant interactions between deference to science and trust in scientists and deference to science and religiosity. We argue that deference may be more instrumental in influencing attitudes about scientific issues than other dispositions, so we should be less concerned with the impacts of short-term political or event-based influences, and more concerned with building longer-term deference and belief in the scientific enterprise.

Biological Imperatives and Food Marketing: Food Cues Alter Trajectories of Processing, Behavior and Choice • Rachel Bailey, Washington State University • This study examines how food presentation and packaging alters the time course of information processing, response and food choice. Participants were asked to categorize images of food that varied in the directness of their food cues (information about taste in terms of color, glossiness, texture, etc) before and after being exposed to a set of advertisements that also varied in the directness of their available food cues. Heart rate data also were used to access the motivational value of food cues. In general, direct food cue products enhanced motivational processes, especially if they were also advertised with direct food cues. Food products that had the least direct food cues did the opposite. Individuals also chose to eat products that were packaged with more direct food cues available compared to opaque packages. Implications and future research are discussed.

‘We just can’t talk about mental health:’ Analysis of African American urban community leader interviews • Jeannette Porter; Tim Bajkiewicz, Virginia Commonwealth University • This study conducts in-depth interviews with eleven female African American community leaders in a low-income area of a medium-sized US southeastern city asked about their perceptions of African American patterns of communication on mental health issues in their community. Findings include terms like crazy and hustle, when rarely discussed. Participants say more training is needed for professionals (including law enforcement) and children, as well as a reduction in medication use to treat mental illness.

Framing climate change: Understanding behavior intention using a moderated-mediation model • porismita borah, Washington State University • The study conducted an experiment of a national sample of adults to understand the influence of four frames on environmental behavior intention. The study uses a moderated mediated model to test the moderating role of political ideology and mediating role of self-efficacy. Findings show that positive frames such as progress and problem-solving frames increase individuals’ environmental behavior intention. The positive frames increase individuals’ self-efficacy, which leads to increased environmental behavior intention, moderated by political ideology.

The Changing Opinion Dynamics Around Global Climate Change: Exploring Shifts in Framing Effects on Public Attitudes • Michael Cacciatore and LaShonda Eaddy, ADPR • In light of recent shifts in attitudes concerning global climate change, we assess several key predictors of American attitudes toward the subject. We begin by exploring the demographic characteristics that predict attitudes toward the causes and timing of the phenomenon before investigating the role that subtle terminology differences have on perceptions of the phenomenon. While this is not the first paper to explore how question wording impacts public response to global warming/climate change, the results that we report here represent a substantial departure from previous investigations of the topic and suggest large-scale shifts in how the American public makes sense of this politically contentious issue. Most notably, we found that terminology impacts differed based on a respondent’s political party affiliation, although in a manner that was somewhat unexpected given previous work on this issue. Unlike previous work, we found there was no statistically significant difference in how Republicans responded to the terms global warming and climate change. Rather, it was the Democrats who varied in their perceptions based on the wording manipulation with use of the term global warming prompting Democrats to respond much more strongly that the phenomenon was being caused by human activity and use of the term climate change resulting in an overall lower probability of believing that to be the case.

Third-person effect, message framing and drunken driving: Examining the causes and preventions of drunken-driving behavior • Kuang-Kuo Chang, Shih Hsin University • This study applies the third-person effect hypothesis and messages framing to examine the drunken-driving issue that has plagued Taiwan society. Statistical analyses support all (12) but three hypotheses. News attentiveness and campaign messages lead to a first-person effect at both perceptual and behavioral levels; drinking capacity and risk create a perceptual third-person effect. Gain-framed messages are more appealing than loss-framed messages. Findings provide valuable strategies for policymaking, coverage and campaigns in preventing this anti-social behavior.

Examining the impact of a health literacy and media literacy intervention on adults’ sugar-sweetened beverage media literacy skills • Yvonnes Chen; Kathleen Porter; Jamie Zoellner; Paul Estabrooks • Overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) has led to a number of adverse health consequences. Interventions for adults, however, rarely incorporate media and health literacy education. We evaluated a single, SSB-focused media literacy (ML) lesson embedded in a large randomized-controlled trial in rural Southwest Virginia. We found that low and high health literacy participants benefited differently from the intervention. Also, adults’ overall SSB ML skills and understanding of the representation nature of SSB messages were improved.

A Smoking Cessation Campaign on Twitter: Understanding the Use of Twitter and Identifying Major Players in a Health Campaign • Jae Eun Chung, Communication • The current study examined the usage of online social media for a health campaign. Collecting tweets (N = 1,790) about the most recent Former Smoker’s Campaign, a smoking cessation promotion by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current study investigated the dissemination of health campaign messages on Twitter, paying particular attention to answering questions from the process evaluation of health campaigns: who tweets about the campaign, who plays central roles in disseminating health campaign messages, and how various features of Twitter are used for sharing of campaign messages. Results show that individuals and nonprofit organizations posted frequently about the campaign: Individuals and nonprofit organizations posted about 40% and 30% of campaign-related tweets, respectively. The culture of retweeting demonstrated its particular usefulness for the dissemination of campaign messages. Despite the expectation that the use of social media would expand opportunities for engagement, actual two-way interactions were few or minimal. In the current study the data analysis tool NodeXL showed its utility in collecting data and identifying major influencers in health campaigns. Drawn from the results, practical suggestions on how to strategize the use of Twitter for future health campaigns are discussed.

Weight-of-Evidence Risk Messages about Genetically Modified (GM) Foods: Persuasive Effects and Motivated Reasoning • Beatriz Vianna; Chris Clarke, George Mason University • This article extends research on conveying weight-of-evidence in risk contexts. We focus on a contentious risk topic; novel persuasive outcomes; and political ideology as a moderator of message effects. A news message experiment revealed that weight-of-evidence information emphasizing the safety of genetically modified foods for human consumption heightened participants’ perceptions of safety and affected strength of conviction, depending on prior safety beliefs. Political ideology did not moderate these effects. We discuss risk communication implications.

Environmental documentaries: How Gasland and Fracknation shape risk perceptions and policy preferences about hydraulic fracturing • Kathryn Cooper, The Ohio State University • Mass media messages are a powerful means by which to influence risk perceptions and policy preferences about controversial environmental issues. This paper presents the results of a study designed to test how the impact of the documentaries Gasland and Fracknation (which present anti- and pro-hydraulic fracturing viewpoints, respectively) varies by viewer ideology. Results indicate that Fracknation was effective across ideological groups while Gasland had limited effectiveness and only influence risk perceptions for liberals and moderates.

Compulsive Creativity: Virtual Worlds, Disability, and New Selfhoods Online • Donna Davis, University of Oregon; Tom Boellstorff • This study examines the intersection of disability and the digital through an ethnographic exploration of compulsive creativity experienced by persons living with Parkinson’s (PD) disease engaged in the virtual world, Second Life. Among this community of individuals with PD, a number of them report experiencing new forms of identity, place and making, simultaneous to alleviating symptoms of the disease. This raises questions central to current debates in media studies, health communication, anthropology and beyond.

How Caregivers Cope: The Effect of Media Appraisals and Information Behaviors on Coping Efficacy • Jae Seon Jeong; Lindsey DiTirro; Jeong-Nam Kim • This article contributes to the study of communication and coping in health contexts by exploring information appraisal and information behaviors. Drawing on theoretical perspectives, we argue that information behaviors are communicative responses that can serve as a means to increase, decrease, or maintain the efficiency of coping. Therefore, the current study examines the appraisals of health information found in the media and how they relate to caregivers’ information behaviors and coping efficacy.

The Twitter Network of the Top 50 Scientists • Elliot Fenech, University of Utah • As main stream media moves away from traditional outlets, such as television and newspaper, online social media outlets are growing in popularity. Twitter is one social media outlet where users post messages for others to read and review. This paper examines the top 50 scientists on Twitter in order to gain an understanding of how the community of scientists are using Twitter to communicate with each other beyond geographical and disciplinary divides. We examine the structure of the mention network among these scientists in terms of whether they form a Twitter community, how connected they are, and what subgroups, if any, there may be. Our data showed that a majority of these scientists formed a conversational community, in which there were a few more cohesive clusters but these clusters were not due to homophily based on areas of expertise. Future research should expand on our findings and establish a clearer understanding of how the scientific community is using Twitter to collaborate with each other and communicate with the public.

Framing News Coverage of National Parks: The Environment, Social Issues, and Recreation • Bruce Garrison, University of Miami; Zongchao Li, University of Miami • This study investigated coverage of America’s national parks, based on an analysis of 1,456 stories in 15 daily newspapers during 2000-12. Amusements, such as recreation, were the leading news frame, but social issues and environment were also commonly used. While there were no significant differences in framing approaches over time, the study found differences in how stories were framed by region and stories using amusements frames were longer, more positive, and used images more often.

Exploring the Mediating Roles of Fatalistic Beliefs and Self-Efficacy on the Relation Between Cancer Information-seeking on the Internet and Cancer-Preventative Behaviors • Eun Go; Kyung Han You, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies • This study explores the relationship between cancer-related information seeking on the Internet and cancer-preventative behaviors, with a focus on the mediating effects of fatalistic beliefs and self-efficacy. Using the structural equation modeling method (N=2,896), the present study demonstrates that while information seeking about cancer on the Internet does not exert a decrease of users’ levels of fatalistic beliefs, it does elevate users’ levels of self-efficacy. Moreover, the findings show that although information seeking about cancer on the Internet does not directly enhance users’ engagement in cancer-preventative behaviors, it has indirect effect on cancer-preventive behaviors via health-related self-efficacy. The findings also indicate that individuals’ levels of self-efficacy significantly mediate the association between fatalistic beliefs and cancer-preventative behaviors. This result demonstrates the need for consideration of such cognitive mediators in explaining the influence of cancer-related information-seeking on the Internet on cancer-preventative behaviors. Further implications of the study are also discussed.

The Framing of Marcellus Shale Drilling in Pennsylvania Newspapers • Elise Brown; Michel Haigh, Penn State; John Ewing, Penn State • This study examined how print media in Pennsylvania framed the discussion about Marcellus Shale gas drilling and development from 2008 – 2012. A content analysis (N = 783) found the most common frame employed was the environmental concerns frame, followed by the political strategy frame, scientific background frame, and public engagement frame. The scientific background frame was included more often in articles published by the agricultural media. The political strategies frame was used more often in mainstream media articles. Frames also varied over the four-year period, as well as the topics discussed.

Public Attention to Science and Political News and Support for Climate Change Mitigation • P. Sol Hart, University of Michigan; Erik Nisbet, The Ohio State University; Teresa Myers, George Mason University • We examine how attention to science and political news may influence public knowledge, perceived harm, and support for climate mitigation policies. Previous research examining these relationships has not fully accounted for how political ideology shapes the mental processes through which the public interprets media discourses about climate change. We incorporate political ideology and the concept of motivated cognition into our analysis to compare and contrast two prominent models of opinion formation, the scientific literacy model, which posits that disseminating scientific information will move public opinion towards the scientific consensus, and the motivated reasoning model, which posits that individuals will interpret information in a biased manner. Our analysis finds support for both models of opinion formation with key differences across ideological groups. Attention to science news was associated with greater perceptions of harm and knowledge for conservatives, but only additional knowledge for liberals. Supporting the literacy model, greater knowledge was associated with more support for climate mitigation for liberals. In contrast, consistent with motivated reasoning, more knowledgeable conservatives were less supportive of mitigation policy. In addition, attention to political news had a negative association with perceived harm for conservatives but not for liberals.

Consent is Sexy: An evaluation of a campus mass media campaign to increase sexual communication • Nathan Silver, The Ohio State University; Shelly Hovick, The Ohio State University; Michelle Bangen, The Ohio State University • Increased national focus on campus sexual violence has intensified the need for applied interventions. This study employed a cross-sectional online survey to evaluate a mass-mediated campus sexual violence campaign using provocative messages and images to persuade students that consent is sexy. Results show those exposed to the campaign had more positive attitudes towards consent, greater consent-related perceived behavioral control (PBC) and decreased rape myth acceptance (p<.05). PBC was also associated with increased dyadic sexual communication.

Emotional Appeals and the Environment: A Content Analysis of Greenpeace China’s Weibo Posts and Audience Responses • Qihao Ji, Florida State University; Summer Harlow, Florida State University; Di Cui, Florida State University; Zihan Wang, Florida State University • Previous studies show emotional reactions to be a precursor to behavioral change. Thus, drawing on environmental psychology and framing scholarship, this content analysis of a year’s worth of Greenpeace China’s Weibo posts and user comments explores how a post’s topic and frame influenced users’ likes, reposts, and emotional reactions via the creation of a social media emotional reaction index. Consequence, conflict, and morality frames generated the strongest emotional reactions for posts about food and agriculture.

The Effects of Framing and Attribution on Individuals’ Responses to Depression Coverage • Yan Jin, University of Georgia; Yuan Zhang; YEN-I LEE, University of Georgia; Ernest Martin; Joshua Smith • Through a 2 (episodic vs. thematic framing) x 2 (individual vs. societal attribution) between-subjects experiment of 125 college students, this study provides insights that can inform future depression news coverage aimed at addressing barriers in communicating with young adults about the risk of depression and the importance of providing social support to depressed individuals: 1) Significant main effects of news framing and attribution were detected, with episodic framing and societal responsibility attribution evoking more sympathy among participants; 2) Regardless of the type of framing and attribution, participants’ sympathy toward depressed individuals were found to be significantly associated with health issue involvement and self-efficacy in detecting depression symptoms; and 3) Male participants reported higher expectations of the social support outcomes. These findings also call for further health news framing theories by integrating the key role supportive public sentiment and positive emotions play in mediating the effects of framing and attribution on cognitive and behavior outcomes.

The National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Survey Module and Support for Science, 2006-2012 • Besley John • The current study investigates how well the main science and technology-focused variables included in the General Social Survey (2006-2012) by the National Science Foundation do in predicting support for science funding. These questions form the primary basis of part of a biannual report to federal lawmakers and it is therefore important to consider whether the appropriate variables are included in the survey. The results suggest that, while there are some bivariate relationships between funding support and demographics, use of science communication channels, science knowledge, and attitudes about science and scientists, the overall predictive ability of the available variables appear to be relatively small. Suggestions for a potential path forward are made.

I am Willing to Pay More for Green Products: An Application of Extended Norm Activation Model • Ilwoo Ju, Saint Louis University; Jinhee Lee • With the ever-increasing attention to the environment, the current study examines the influences of consumers’ perceived environmental norms regarding major social agents (individuals, companies, and governments) on their willingness to pay more for green products. The analysis of the Simmons National Consumer Study data provides insight by revealing the path in which such effects are shaped through consumers’ general green purchase intention. Theoretical, managerial, and social implications are discussed.

The impact of message framing and evidence type in anti-binge drinking messages • Hannah Kang, University of Kansas; Moon Lee • We examined the impacts of message framing and evidence type in anti-binge drinking messages, based on Prospect Theory and Exemplification Theory. The experiment was a 2 (message framing: loss-framed message/gain-framed message) X 2 (evidence type: statistical/narrative) between-subjects factorial design with a control group. A total of 156 undergraduates participated. We found the participants in the loss-framed message condition exhibited a higher level of intention to avoid binge drinking in the near future than those who did not see any persuasive messages in the control group. We also found, regardless of evidence type, those who were exposed to the messages exhibited a higher level of intention to avoid binge drinking than those in the control group. In addition, the main effects of message framing and evidence type on attitude toward the message and the main effect of message framing on attitude toward drinking were found.

Cognitive Motivations and the Evaluation of Risk: The Role of Need for Affect and Cognition in How Individuals Act on Electronic Cigarettes • Se-Jin Kim, Colorado State University • This paper introduces a hybrid theoretical model of risk-based behavioral attitudes and intentions using the Theory of Reasoned Action, Dual Processing Risk Perception, the Heuristic Systematic Model, and Need for Affect and Need for Cognition. The model proposes that personality attributes, such as need for affect and need for cognition, information processing styles, and affective and cognitive risk perceptions are antecedents to attitudes and intentions. This study examines this model in the context of electronic cigarette consumption, and finds support for the overall model. Specifically, need for cognition, the need for thinking deeply, positively predicts systematic processing – a more effortful cognitive processing style, attitudes toward consuming electronic cigarettes, and behavioral intention toward consuming electronic cigarettes. Need for affect, the need for either adopting or avoiding strong emotions, negatively predicts heuristic processing – a more peripheral cognitive processing style, and subsequently social norms, attitudes about consuming and behavioral intentions toward electronic cigarettes.

Ties to the Local Community and South Carolinian Newspapers’ Coverage of Smoke-Free Policies • Sei-Hill Kim; James Thrasher, University of South Carolina; India Rose, ICF International – Public Health and Survey Research Division; Mary-Kathryn Craft, SC Tobacco-Free Collaborative Board of Directors; Hwalbin Kim, University of South Carolina • In this quantitative content analysis, we assess how smoke-free policies are presented in the South Carolinian newspapers. In particular, this study examines the extent to which newspapers’ coverage of smoke free-policies has represented the interests of their local communities. We compare newspapers in the communities whose economy relies heavily on the tourism and hospitality industry (The Post & Courier in Charleston and The Sun News in Myrtle Beach) and newspapers elsewhere (The State in Columbia and The Greenville News in Greenville), and see if there are meaningful differences between the newspapers in the way they portray smoke-free policies, particularly in terms of their selective uses of news sources and key arguments. Our findings indicated that South Carolinian newspapers portrayed smoke-free policies largely as a political issue. Many political reasons to either support or oppose the policies were found in almost two out of three articles. We also found that The Post & Courier and The Sun News were more likely than The State and The Greenville News to make arguments against smoke-free policies, and this was particularly so when they were talking about economic impacts of the policies. Implications of the findings are discussed in detail.

Does Stigma against Smokers Really Motivate Cessation? A Moderated Mediation Effect of Anti-smoking Campaign • Jinyoung Kim, Pennsylvania State University; Xiaoxia Cao, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Eric Meczkowski • Anti-smoking campaigns frequently use stigmatizing messages to promote cessation. Qualitative researchers have raised concerns over the unintended consequences of broadcasting stigmatizing messages to low socioeconomic status populations. Our study seeks to empirically test this concern through an experiment that examines socioeconomic and emotional determinants of stigmatizing message effectiveness. Results indicate that stigmatizing messages are less effective for low SES populations and SES moderates the relationship between exposure to stigmatizing messages, shame, and cessation intention.

Segmenting Exergame Users Based on Perceptions on Playing Exergames Among College Students • Youjeong Kim, new york institute of technology; Hyang-Sook Kim, Towson University • To promote physical fitness by means of exergames and maintain adherence of exergame effects, it is imperative to understand when and why exergame users (dis)continue to play. Given two separate conceptualizations tied to exergames—as a type of video game or an exercise tool—a self-instructed online survey with 158 college students showed that non-regular exercisers perceived exergames as an exercise tool more strongly and showed more positive attitudes toward exergames as an exercise tool and intention to play than regular exercisers. No difference was found among any of the group specifications (regular vs. non-regular exercisers and exergame players vs. non-players) for the perception of exergames as a type of video game. However, the exergame player group showed a more positive attitude toward exergames as video games and greater intention to play than the non-player group. Implications for exergame business and health professionals were further discussed.

Who is Responsible for Climate Change? • Sei-Hill Kim; Jeong-Heon Chang, Korea University; Jea Chul Shim, Korea University; Hwalbin Kim, University of South Carolina • Analyzing data from a survey of South Koreans’ perceptions of climate change, this study examines whether the way people attribute responsibility can affect their perceived risks. We hypothesize that those who believe that the government or large corporations – as opposed to average citizens like themselves – are highly responsible for the negative consequences of climate change will perceive a greater risk because the risk is perceived to be beyond their own control and determined largely by another entity (i.e., the government or corporations). This study then examines the role of the media in shaping the audiences’ perceptions of who is responsible. More specifically, we investigate whether individuals’ use of news media for science information is associated with the extent to which they attribute responsibility for climate change. Attributing greater responsibility to the government was positively and significantly associated with perceptions of greater risks to self, to others, and to the next generation. Attributing responsibility to large corporations also had positive associations with perceived risks. Television news viewing was negatively and significantly associated with attributing responsibility to the government and to large corporations. On the contrary, uses of online bulletin boards and blogs were positively associated with blaming the government and corporations. Implications of the findings are discussed in detail.

Cultural Effects on Cancer Prevention Behaviors: Fatalistic Cancer Beliefs and Optimism Among East Asians • HyeKyung Kay Kim; May Lwin • Culture has been recognized as an important factor that influences health beliefs and health-related behaviors. This study examines culturally influenced beliefs about cancer risk and prevention, and their impact on the performance of four cancer prevention behaviors including regular exercise, avoid smoking, fruit and vegetable intake, and sunscreen use. To make cross-cultural comparisons, we used data from national surveys of European American (HINTS 4, Cycle3; N = 1,139) and East Asians in Singapore (N = 1,200). Compared to European Americans, East Asians were significantly less likely to engage in prevention behaviors, except avoiding smoking. East Asians appear to be more optimistic about their cancer risk and to hold stronger fatalistic beliefs about cancer prevention, which in turn partially explained cultural disparities in adherence to cancer prevention behaviors. Our findings underscore the need for developing culturally tailored interventions in communicating cancer causes and prevention. We discuss practical and theoretical implications of our findings.

Crowdfunding: Engaging the public in scientific research • Eun Jeong Koh, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Linda Pfeiffer, UW-Madison • Recent studies increasingly find that the medialization phenomenon is at work among scientists. We explore scientists’ medialization behaviors that attempt to increase public visibility in new media environments. Through content analysis of an online platform for crowdfunding, we observed medialization behaviors among the scientists who seek research funding through crowdfunding. Some of their strategies were positively associated with the amount of funding they received as pledges and the number of donors who supported their projects.

Healthy Concern for the Environment: How health framing can better engage audiences with news coverage of environmental issues. • Patrice Kohl • Social scientists suggest framing environmental stories to emphasize human health consequences could help build support for addressing environmental issues by eliciting attitudes and emotions favorable toward addressing environmental issues. Early empirical evidence supports this conclusion. This study contributes to this research with the finding that health framing can also increase reader interest in environmental stories. It also extends this body of research, which has so far focused on climate change, to an alternative environmental issue.

The Effects of Message Framing and Anthropomorphism on Empathy, Implicit and Explicit Green Attitudes • Sushma Kumble; Lee Ahern; Jose Aviles; Minhee Lee • Anthropomorphizing nature is common in many cultures–Earth is often and fondly referred to as ‘Mother Earth’ and nature as ‘Mother nature’. But does making nature more ‘human’ change perceptions and attitudes toward it? The current work examined the extent to which anthropomorphism and message framing help in formation of pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors by employing a 2×2 between subject factorial design. One novel aspect of the study was that it measures impacts on implicit, automatic green attitudes, as well as on explicit attitudes. Results indicated that while anthropomorphism did not have a significant main effect, gain-framed messages led to more positive green implicit and explicit attitude. Along with that, it was also seen that empathy mediated this relationship.

Window Dressing or Public Education? How Oil Companies’ Websites Address Public Concerns About Hydraulic Fracturing • Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University; Hyo Jin Kim; Kristi Gilmore, Texas Tech University • We examined the petroleum industry’s communication efforts in regard to water issues surrounding the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Using textual analysis, we examined the websites of the top 10 U.S. oil and gas companies to see whether and how the corporations addressed the issues that the public are concerned about. Results showed that all eight companies that have adopted fracking addressed water issues relating to fracking, but the way they presented the information was not friendly to the public. We discuss the implications of the findings and suggest directions for future study.

Communal Risk Information Sharing: Motivations Behind Voluntary Information Sharing of Late Blight Infection in U.S. Agricultural Communities • Wang Liao, Cornell University; Connie Yuan, Cornell University; Katherine McComas, Cornell University • The paper presents a study of a national sample of tomato and potato growers in the United States (N = 452). This study focused on motivations behind voluntary information sharing of late blight, a devastating communal risk for agricultural economics. We examined three categories of motivations, ranging from personal concerns for immediate, extrinsic payoffs (i.e., economic costs and spending time/effort), to concerns for long-term or intrinsic benefits (i.e., reciprocity and altruistic enjoyment), and to community-based concerns (i.e., shared responsibility and community cohesiveness). The trustworthiness of risk information receiver was also examined. We found growers were motivated to share or not share information of late blight infection in their own farms by (a) economic concerns for business loss, (b) cooperative concerns for reciprocation and information receiver’s trustworthiness, and (c) normative concerns derived from a sense of shared responsibility, reciprocity, and community cohesiveness. We argued that more attention should be paid to risk information sharing, especially for communal risks, in addition to risk information seeking and processing.

Frame and Seek? Do Media Frame Combinations of Celebrity Health Disclosures Effect Health Information Seeking? • Susan LoRusso, University of Minnesota; Weijia Shi, University of Minnesota • This framing effects experimental study tests whether news stories reporting on a celebrity public health disclosure using disparate media frame combinations impact online health information seeking behavior and participant’s queried search terms. Nearly half of all participants participated in online information seeking, but there were no differences between conditions. Further results show a large effect size between media frame conditions and participants’ queried search terms when seeking online information.

The Effectiveness of Anti-drug Public Service Announcements on Cognitive Processing and Behavioral Intention: A Systematic Review of Current Research • Chen Lou, Michigan State University • This systematic review examined anti-drug public service announcements (PSAs)’ effectiveness among target audience. Six databases (PsychInfo, Pubmed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Communication and Mass Media Complete, and Web of Science) and forward citation lists were used to locate peer-reviewed published journal articles in English through September 2014. Studies that used randomized controlled trials (RCT) to examine anti-drug PSAs persuasive effects or mediators/moderators of their effects were included. Fifteen studies were identified after two rounds of search. Included studies’ characteristics (such as, sample size, sample age, gender, intervention type, intensity of intervention, mediator/moderators), key measures, and main results were extracted. All of the included studies were appraised based on the risk of bias criteria. Only three studies claimed PSAs’ effectiveness compared to the control messages. Four studies provided evidence that some anti-drug PSAs presented in certain contexts may have deleterious effects on their target populations. There were no conclusive arguments made on the mediators/moderators’ (e.g., gender, ethnicity, prior drug use, sensation seeking, message sensation value) effects on PSAs’ effectiveness.

Moms and media: Exploring the effects of online communication on infant feeding practices • Robert McKeever, University of South Carolina; Brooke McKeever, University of South Carolina • Using a survey of mothers with young children (N = 455), this study applies Fishbein and Ajzen’s (2011) Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to examine the relationship between online communication and infant feeding practices. Contrary to expectations, attitudes, perceived normative pressure, and perceived behavioral control did not fully mediate the relationship between time spent online and behavioral intentions. Our findings indicate a significant, direct, negative association between time online and breastfeeding intentions.

The silent majority: Childhood vaccinations and antecedents for communicative action • Brooke McKeever, University of South Carolina; Robert McKeever, University of South Carolina; Avery Holton, University of Utah; Jo-Yun Queenie Li • The topic of childhood vaccinations has received much media attention recently, prompting scholars to examine how the public has responded. This study examines why individuals may involve themselves in communication about vaccinations. Drawing on several communication theories and using a survey of mothers (N = 455) this study finds that while affective and cognitive involvement may help drive communicative action, individuals who personally support vaccinations may be less likely to voice their opinions. Implications are discussed.

The Mediating Role of Media Use in an Elementary School Health Intervention Program • Dylan McLemore, Univ of Alabama; Lindsey Conlin, The University of Southern Mississippi; Xueying Zhang; Bijie Bie; Kim Bissell, University of Alabama; Scott Parrott • Media use – television in particular – has long been considered a risk factor for obesity in children. This study considered whether children’s media use mediated the success of an elementary school obesity intervention program. The intervention significantly increased children’s nutritional knowledge. Existing media use had no effect on the intervention, nor did it correlate with BMI or pre-existing knowledge or attitudes about exercise and nutrition. Findings are discussed within the context of media effects theory and health intervention practice.

Disease outbreaks on Twitter: An analysis of tweets during the #Ebola and #measles crises • Jeanine Guidry, Virginia Commonwealth University; Shana Meganck; Marcus Messner, Virginia Commonwealth University; EunHae (Grace) Park, Virginia Commonwealth University; Kellie Carlyle, Virginia Commonwealth University; Osita Iroegbu, Virginia Commonwealth University; Jerome Niyirora, SUNY Polytechnic Institute • Recent Ebola and measles outbreaks have brought both diseases to the forefront of public debate, and social media is one of the main places people are turning to learn more about the diseases, find like-minded individuals, and express opinions. Yet little is known about these conversations, and what can be learned from them. The goal of this study was to analyze the public’s engagement on social media as the two disease outbreaks turned into online crises. This study analyzed 2,000 tweets – 1,000 Ebola-focused tweets and 1,000 measles-focused tweets – with each sample collected at the height of each disease outbreak. Tweets were analyzed using the Risk Perception Model and the Health Belief Model. The results indicate that while Ebola-focused tweets elicited significantly more engagement than measles-focused tweets, both conversations displayed a high level of perceived severity of the diseases as well as a significant presence of risk perception variables. While Ebola tweets more often refer to identifiable victims, measles tweets, and especially those that already mention a fear of the MMR vaccine, more often speak of concern and fear and of peceived deception by medical authorities.

Physician Use and Policy Awareness of Open Access to Research and Their Views on Journalists’ Reporting of Research • Laura Moorhead, Stanford University • Through funding agency and publisher policies, an increasing proportion of the health sciences literature is being made open access. Such access raises questions about the awareness and utilization of this literature by physicians, as well as the role journalists may play in physicians’ need of journal articles. A sample of physicians (N=336) was provided with access to the research for one year; a subset of physicians (n=38) was interviewed about research use and perceived impact of journalists in creating a need for immediate access to embargoed research. The physicians in this study reported mixed feelings about the work of journalists. On one hand, they relied on journalists for publicly shared information, as they often had access to press releases from academic publishers. On the other hand, physicians were regularly frustrated by what they perceived as journalists’ inadequate or flawed coverage of health and medical matters through the misreporting of research. An opportunity exists for a partnership between physicians and journalists, particularly on the local level. Additionally, physicians and journalists face a similar need for immediate access to research as a way to better inform the public about issues of health care.

College Students’ Beverage Consumption Behaviors and the Path to Obesity • Cynthia Morton, University of Floridq; Naa Amponsah Dodoo, University of Florida • Research has established that high soft drink consumption, including carbonated beverages, fruit juices, and other sugar-based beverages are correlated with increased risk of obesity. College students are an urgent priority to curbing the path toward obesity since research suggests the college stage of life is where habits are solidified and weight gain occurs most quickly. The purpose of this research is to build on previous studies that have also explored college students’ food consumption habits by providing a closer examination of college students’ knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors. Survey research examined three the relationship between knowledge, beliefs, and beverage consumption behaviors. The findings and implications for health communication practitioners present an opportunity to identify message directions that speak to the college student segment in terms important to them.

No Pain, Lotta Gain: Risk-benefit information on cosmetic surgeons’ websites • SangHee Park, Bowling Green State University; Sung-Yeon Park, School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University • This study analyzed the website homepages of 250 cosmetic surgeons to investigate how cosmetic surgeons’ websites provide information about the risks and benefits of cosmetic surgery. This study found that although cosmetic surgeons’ website homages emphasized psychological benefits of having the cosmetic surgery, they minimized psychological and physical risks of the surgery. They also addresses time and cost to increase perceived control over cosmetic surgery. Implications of these findings are discussed.

What Health Risk?   Constructions of Definitional Power and Complex Science in Policy News • Linda Pfeiffer, UW-Madison • This research explores whether news constructions of complex science meet the critical information needs of the public when powerful actors work vigorously to define the dominant policy narrative. A mixed-methods frame analysis reveals that NGOs appear to be emergent as key health communicators. NGOs and citizen journalists prioritize issues of health, sustainability, and procedural justice. Comparatively, traditional media constructions predominantly reflect diversionary economic and deregulatory frames, with public-relations science confusion counter-framing overshadowing health risk narratives.

Gender and Race Representations of Scientists in Highlights for Children: A Content Analysis • Kathy Previs, Eastern Kentucky University • Researchers have found that girls lose interest in science by age nine (Steinke 2005; Rosser and Potter 1990) and have attributed this finding to misrepresentations of female scientists in the media (McIntosh 2014). While television, film, the Internet and textbooks have been analyzed for such representations, this study examines the extent to which females and minorities are portrayed over time in areas of science in a popular children’s magazine, Highlights for Children. The results indicate that, while males and whites have outnumbered females and minorities in depictions of science, Highlights has consistently exceeded the number of females and minorities actually employed in scientific fields.

The Effectiveness of Entertainment Education in Obesity Prevention • Weina Ran • The purpose of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of entertainment education (EE) and explicate its underlying persuasive mechanisms. Data from a longitudinal experiment show that compared to an explicit persuasive appeal, EE is more effective in preventing junk food consumption. Results also show that identification with media characters predicts less junk food consumption indirectly through self-efficacy. Implications are discussed for EE-oriented health interventions.

Message Frames on How Individuals Contract HIV and How Individuals Live with HIV in Combination Have Different Impacts on HIV Stigma • Chunbo Ren, Central Michigan University; Ming Lei, Cameron University • HIV stigma has become one of the most pressing concerns in global HIV response, and media are a key factor in HIV stigmatization. Given the salience of media framing of how individuals contract HIV and the framing of how individuals live with HIV, the current study explored the effects of the two media frames in tandem on HIV stigma to help inform the practice of reducing stigma toward people living with HIV (PLHIV). The study was a two (pretest-posttest) by two (HIV onset controllability framing) by two (living with HIV framing) mixed model experiment with a control group. The results of the current study suggest that HIV onset controllability remains a significant factor in HIV stigma. Media framing on how individuals live with HIV can influence people’s stigmatizing attitudes toward PLHIV, intentions of social distancing from PLHIV, and intentions to support coercive measures against PLHIV. The influence, however, must be interpreted with media framing on the onset controllability of HIV. Positive portrayals of living with HIV can reduce people’s intentions of social distancing from PLHIV but only when the positive portrayals are in combination with portrayals that PLHIV have contracted HIV due to less controllable behaviors. When the negative portrayals of living with HIV are combined with the portrayals that PLHIV have contracted HIV via controllable behaviors, the results can be drastic, as they increase people’s intentions to support coercive measures against PLHIV.

Vaccine-hesitant Justifications: From Narrative Transportation to the Conflation of Expertise • Nathan Rodriguez, University of Kansas • Vaccine-preventable diseases have re-emerged as more individuals have strayed from the recommended inoculation schedule. Previous work on vaccine hesitancy is generally limited to content analyses. Using grounded theory, this project examines vaccine debates on a prominent discussion board over a period of five years. Individuals tended to justify opposition or hesitancy toward vaccines through personal experience and/or research, and narrative transportation and the conflation of expertise help describe the most prominent characteristics of such discourse.

Framing the problem of childhood obesity in White House press releases: 2010 to 2014 • Jennifer Schwartz • This article outlines how the White House framed childhood obesity as a problem in White House press releases and official documents after First Lady Michelle Obama launched Feb. 9, 2010, the Let’s Move campaign, which was a federal campaign to define childhood obesity as a public health problem and offer solutions for reducing childhood obesity. This study found a decrease in attention to childhood obesity over time and an emphasis on defining childhood obesity as a problem and suggesting system-level solutions, such as changes to the food served in schools and improving the information environment in communities.

Seeking Treatment, Helping Others: Thematic Differences in Media Narratives between Traditional and New Media Content • Sarah Smith-Frigerio, University of Missouri; Cynthia Frisby, University of Missouri; Joseph Moore, University of Missouri; Abigail Gray; Miranda Craig, University of Missouri • One in five Americans deal with mental illness (NIMH, 2010), yet misrepresentation and stigma prevail in traditional media narratives. While scholars have called for changes in media narratives concerning mental illness, traditional media have been slow to adapt, and research of narratives in new media is limited. This study demonstrates thematic differences in narratives of mental illness in new media, and discusses how future research may further understanding about the construction of mental illness narratives.

Escapism in Exergames: Presence, enjoyment, and mood experience in predicting children’s attitudes towards Exergames • Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University; Jeremy Sng, Nanyang Technological University; Andrew Z. H. Yee; Woan Shin Tan; Ai Sian Ng; Victor Y. C. Yen; May Lwin • Obesity is a problem faced by countries all over the world today. Unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles have contributed to the growth in obesity among children in particular. Exergaming has been discussed as a possible way to encourage children to engage in physical activity. In this paper, we report on a survey which explores presence as a mechanism through which exergames may be associated with positive mood experiences and game enjoyment. The results (n = 345) revealed that presence was positively associated with mood experience and game enjoyment, game enjoyment and mood experience were positively correlated with attitudes towards exergaming, and attitudes towards exergaming were positively correlated with preference for future gameplay. In addition, mood experience was found to be a partial mediator of the relationship between presence and game enjoyment. Conclusions regarding the impact of exergames on adolescents, and practical implications for digital health interventions and exergame design are discussed.

Information and engagement: How scientific organizations are using social media in science public relations • Leona Yi-Fan Su; Dietram Scheufele; Dominique Brossard; Michael A. Xenos • This study examines the public relations practice of 250 scientific organizations through looking into their social media uses between 2010 and 2014. We found that they have increased the use of Twitter but decreased the use of Facebook. In particular, a majority of the messages comprises public information was shared in a one-way manner. A closer examination reveals that 92% of the discussions originated from the scientific organizations, suggesting a low level of public engagement.

Revisiting environmental citizenship: The role of information capital and media use • Bruno Takahashi, Michigan State University School of Journalism; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Anthony Van Witsen, Michigan State University; Ran Duan, Michigan State University • We propose, from an across-national perspective, a model of environmental citizenship that includes predictors at the individual and contextual levels. The model is based on multiple theoretical considerations from environmental sociology, media studies and economics. The study found that at the individual level, media use, environmental concern, and post-materialism positively predict environmental citizenship. However, the data also allowed us to test whether the effects of these variables vary depending on social and environmental contexts.

Aware, yet ignorant: The influences of funding and conflicts of interests in research among early career researchers • Meghnaa Tallapragada, Cornell University; Gina Eosco, Eastern Research Group; Katherine McComas, Cornell University • This study investigates the level of awareness about funding influences and potential conflicts of interests (COI) in research among early career researchers. The sample for this study included early career researchers who used one or more of the 14 U.S. laboratories associated with the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. Results indicate that while early career researchers are aware of potential funding and COI influences, they remain ignorant on their role in addressing or managing these issues.

Toward a nuanced typology of media discourse of climate change, impact, and adaptation: An analysis of West African online news and social media • Jiun-Yi (Jenny) Tsai, Arizona State University • This study develops a nuanced typology to investigate how online news and social media (twitter) in West Africa frame climate change as a collective action problem, its impacts, and adaption efforts. Specifically, we distinguish four classes of framing discourse – cause, threat, solution and motivation. Content analysis of 1,344 English news articles shows dominance of threat frame and solution frame. Threats of climate change to food security, human health conditions, and environmental systems are prevalent. Within the solution frame, discourse largely emphasizes creation and implementation of policy and programs proposed by international governments or NGOs to tackle climate challenge, build local farmers’ capacity, and thereby enhance resilience. In stark contrast to discourse in the West, few articles debate its causes, focusing more on blaming human activity than on scientific uncertainty. Motivational frames are very uncommon. Theoretical contribution and implication are discussed.

The Entanglement of Sex, Culture, and Media in Genderizing Disease • Irene van Driel; Jessica Myrick, Indiana University; Rachelle Pavelko, Indiana University; Maria Grabe; Paul Hendriks Vettehen; Mariska Kleemans; Gabi Schaap • This cross-national survey tested how biological sex, culture, and media factors cultivate gender-based susceptibility to diseases. Data were collected from 1,299 Millennials in two countries (US and the Netherlands), shown to differ in gender role socialization. Sex, national and individual gender role perceptions, and media use variables were entered into hierarchical regression models to predict genderization of 48 diseases. Results indicate that aside from sex and culture, medical media contribute to genderization of diseases.

How to Promote Green Social Capital?: Investigating Communication Influences on Environmental Issue Participation • Matthew S. VanDyke, Texas Tech University; Weiwu Zhang, Texas Tech University • The study proposes issue-specific measures of participation, which have been lacking from previous social capital scholarship. It examines how reliance on various communication channels influences environmental issue participation. Findings from an Internet survey suggest that perceived importance of environmental issues, reliance on print media, websites, and weblogs positively predict environmental civic and political participation. Reliance on social networking sites predicts civic but not political participation.

A Missed Opportunity?: NOAA’s Use of Social Media to Communicate Climate Science • Nicole Lee, Texas Tech University; Matthew S. VanDyke, Texas Tech University; R. Glenn Cummins, Texas Tech University • The current study examined how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) utilizes social media to engage publics. Results suggest NOAA doesn’t fully utilize the dialogic potential of social media and seems to be missing an opportunity to enhance science literacy and trust in science regarding climate change specifically. This study informs how public relations theory may complement science communication theory and practice as deficit model-thinking transitions to contemporary approaches for public engagement with science.

The porn effect (?): Links between college men’s exposure to sexually explicit online materials and risky sexual health behaviors & attitudes • Ashley McLain; Kim Walsh-Childers, residential • A sample of 85 undergraduate males completed an online survey to determine if their use of sexually explicit Internet material (SEIM) was associated with sexual health behaviors and attitudes toward pornography and condom use. The study, based on Social Cognitive Theory, investigated whether frequency of exposure to SEIM was associated with more negative attitudes toward condom use, decreased condom use, less partner communication about sex and greater likelihood of engaging in sexual risk behaviors. SEIM exposure was a statistically significant predictor of risky sexual health behaviors for men of all racial groups and of condom use among men who listed their race as other. SEIM was not a predictor of partner communication. For black males, a positive attitude toward pornography was a predictor of less positive condom use attitudes. Post-hoc analyses revealed that, controlling for race, sexual risk behavior increased as positive attitudes toward pornography increased. Further research is needed to determine if the associations exist among other populations and to further investigate the role that race and sensation seeking may have on these associations.

Health narratives effectiveness: Examining the moderating role of persuasive intention • Weirui Wang, Florida International University; Fuyuan Shen • Prior research has indicated that narratives are more effective than non-narrative messages. One of the reasons is that narratives’ intention to persuade is often not explicit, and as a result, stories are less likely to be disputed. The goal of the present research is to examine the moderating role of persuasive intention in narrative persuasion. To do so, a 2 (Message format: narrative vs. non-narrative message) X 2 (Persuasive intention: intention vs. no intention) experiment with a factorial design was conducted among a total of 205 participants on the effects of health narrative messages. Results indicated that persuasive intention undermined the effects of narratives on persuasion through reducing believability and increasing reactance. Both believability and reactance were found to partially mediate the effects of narrative messages on attitudes and behavioral intention.

Motivated Processing of Fear Appeal Messages in Obesity Prevention Videos • Tianjiao Wang, Washington State University; Rachel Bailey, Washington State University • This study examined young adults’ physiological and cognitive responses to fear appeal obesity prevention messages that vary in emotional valence and intensity. Results suggested that valence of these messages impacted individuals’ attention and memory as a function of intensity. Coactive high intensity messages received the most attention, though visual recognition suggests these messages were more difficult to encode.

Zombie Fiction as Narrative Persuasion: Comparing Narrative Engagement in Text-Only and Visual Entertainment Education • Amanda J. Weed, Ohio University • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a multimedia awareness campaign in 2011 to promote emergency preparedness to young audiences. At the heart of the campaign was Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse, an example of narrative persuasion implemented as a comic book. The core persuasive message of the campaign was preparation for a zombie apocalypse through development of a personal emergency plan and creation of an emergency preparedness kit. As a form of narrative persuasion, comic books possibly go a step further than text-only stories by providing rich storytelling combined with vivid visual images. The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of presentation mode (text-only or comic book) on key outcomes of narrative persuasion and engagement including: a) strength of belief for the persuasive messages embedded in Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse, b) participant’s perceived relevance of the story, c) character identification and experience taking, and d) counter-arguments to the persuasive messages.

Communicating to Young Chinese about HPV Vaccination: Examining the Impact of Message Framing and Temporal Distance • Nainan Wen; Fuyuan Shen • This research investigated the influence of message framing (gain or loss) and temporal distance (present or future) on the intention of HPV vaccination. A total of 156 Chinese undergraduates participated in a controlled experiment in Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China. Results showed that message framing and temporal distance interacted to impact the intention of HPV vaccination. Particularly, among participants who had no prior knowledge of HPV vaccine, the gain-present and loss-future framed messages resulted in more positive attitudes toward the message, higher degree of perceived severity of HPV infection, and more likelihood to get HPV vaccination. Implications of the findings were discussed.

Up in vapor: Exploring the health messages of e-cigarette advertisements • Erin Willis, University of Memphis; Matthew Haught, University of Memphis; David Morris II, University of Memphis • Electronic cigarettes have gained popularity in the United States, and marketers are using advertising to recruit new users to their products. Despite outright bans on traditional cigarette advertisements, electronic cigarettes have no specific regulations. This study uses framing theory to explore the themes in e-cigarette advertisements. Practical implications are discussed for both public health practitioners and health communicators.

The case of Ebola: Risk information communicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using Twitter • Erin Willis, University of Memphis; Rosie Jahng, Hope College • The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa last year caused the U.S. to be on high alert. Tweets disseminated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during this time are examined with a focus on health literacy and health frames used to inform publics about the spread of Ebola. While the CDC has social media guidelines specifically for Twitter, the current research discusses practical implications when communicating risk information about a public health issue.

Climate Change in the Changing Climate of News Media: How Newspapers and Blogs Portray Climate Change in the United States • Lei Xie, Fairfield University • This study examines how major U.S. newspapers and grass-root blogs portrayed climate change by analyzing a combination of issue-independent and issue-specific frames: skepticism toward climate change, micro-issue salience, audience-based frames, and attribution of responsibility. Results from 372 stories show contrasting cross-media representation in terms of skepticism and other frames that inform public perception of the issue. Moreover, they provide important clues to understanding the discrepancy between the less skeptical news media and the indifferent American public and offer insights into the intricate relationship between mainstream media and grass-root blogs. Theoretical and methodological implications of this study call for a more systematic approach to frame analysis of climate change communication.

Mapping Science Communication Scholarship in China: Content Analysis on Breadth, Depth and Agenda of Published Research • Linjia Xu; Biaowen Huang; YUANYUAN DONG • This study presents data from a content analysis of published research with the keyword science communication (科学传播) in title or in key words, including academic paper published on journals and dissertations from the database China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI). 572 articles were coded using categories that identified science topics, theory, authorship and methods used in each study to examine the breadth and depth that Science Communication has achieved since its inception in China. We could see the history and scope of science communication, and juxtapose this historical overview in the backdrop of the current scholarship that appears. The depth and width of Chinese Science Communication researches are developing rapidly in the past 30 years. The focus of research topics are changing from the concepts and theories to sources and contents of communication. HPS (History and Philosophy of Science) scholars are the originator and dominance of this field rather than communication scholars. We also identified some notable trends and issues in research for the future development.

Chipping away the Stigma toward People Living with HIV: New Insights from Matching Frames of HIV Onset Controllability with Attitudinal Ambivalence • Changmin Yan, West Virginia University; Chunbo Ren, Central Michigan University • In a pre-post 2 (controllability framing: high or low) by 2 (attitudinal ambivalence: high or low) experimental design, this study investigated if stigma toward people living with HIV (PLHIV) can be reduced by matching HIV onset controllability framed stories with people’s levels of attitudinal ambivalence toward PLHIV. First, a controllability framing main effect was reported in a just-world attribution bias such that individuals in the low HIV onset controllability framing condition expressed less stigma toward PLHIV than those in the high HIV onset controllability condition. Second, an attitudinal ambivalence main effect was also observed such that people with a high level of ambivalence toward PLHIV reported less stigma toward PLHIV than the low-ambivalence individuals. Third, results also supported controllability framing by attitudinal ambivalence interaction effects. Specifically, a significant reduction in stigma toward PLHIV was recorded among people with a high level of ambivalence toward PLHIV when they read high HIV onset controllability-framed stories. Moreover, among the two high HIV onset controllability framing conditions, high-ambivalence individuals reported a significantly smaller increase of stigma than their low-ambivalence counterparts. In sum, the current study has demonstrated that stigma toward PLHIV could be temporarily reduced by matching low onset controllability stories with individuals who feel highly ambivalent toward PLHIV and that even the hard-to-change bias toward high onset controllability PLHIV can be situationally softened among the high-ambivalence individuals.

The Framing of GMOs in China’s Online Media After Golden Rice Scandal • Jinjie Yang • This study examines the framing of GMOs in Chinese news reports after the golden rice scandal using quantitative and qualitative approaches. Ninety news reports selected from related news articles published in 2013 showed five major frames: GMOs as a market issue, as a mature and reliable technology, as scientific progress, as technology that should be regulated, and as a disastrous invention. Analysis of the social factors behind each frame revealed gaps that pose challenges to risk communication.

Altruism during Ebola: Risk perception, issue salience, cultural cognition, and information processing • Zheng Yang, University at Buffalo • This study investigates how risk perception, issue salience, cultural cognition, and dual-process information processing influence individuals’ altruistic behavioral intentions. Data were collected through a nationally representative sample of 1,046 U.S. adults, who were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions that triggered different degrees of risk perception related to the Ebola outbreak. Results indicate that only in the high-risk condition, issue salience and deliberate processing increased individuals’ intentions to support families and friends to go to West Africa as Ebola responders. However, cultural cognition worldview and negative emotions such as sadness and anger were significantly related to altruistic behavioral intentions regardless of the experimental conditions. These findings suggest that affective responses diverge from cognitive processes in influencing risk-related decisions. Practically, as the U.S. continues to send experts to the affected countries in West Africa, results from this study suggest meaningful pathways to improve risk communication intended to encourage more altruistic and pro-social behaviors.

Motives and Underlying Desires of Hookup Apps Use and Risky Sexual Behaviors among Young Men who have Sex with Men in Hong Kong • Tien Ee Dominic Yeo, Department of Communication Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University; Yu Leung Ng, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University • This study examines the role of motivation in the association between gay hookup apps use and risky sexual behaviors among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in Hong Kong. Results indicate five motives for using gay hookup apps: surveillance, relationship, diversion, sex, and identity. Sexual sensation seeking moderated the relationship between sex motive and sexual encounters via apps. Romantic motivations moderated the relationship between surveillance motive and sexual encounters via apps.

Predicting Changes in Giving and Receiving Emotional Support within a Smartphone-Based Alcoholism Support Group • Woohyun Yoo, Dongguk University; Ming-Yuan Chih; Dhavan Shah; David Gustafson • This study explores how giving and receiving emotional support in a smartphone-based alcoholism support group change over time, and what factors predict the changing patterns. Data were collected as part of a randomized clinical trial of testing a smartphone-based relapse prevention system for people with alcohol use disorder. Giving and receiving emotional support were assessed by tracking and coding the 2,746 messages that 153 patients either wrote or read in a smartphone-based alcoholism support group during the 12-month study period. The final data used in the analysis were created by merging (1) computer-aided content analysis of emotional support messages, (2) action log data analysis of group usage, and (3) multiple waves of survey data. Findings suggest that giving and receiving emotional support in a smartphone-based alcoholism support group tend to decline over time. In addition, the initial value and growth rate of giving and receiving emotional support vary depending on the group participants’ characteristics. These features should be considered in building strategies for the design and implementation of smartphone-based support groups for people with alcohol use disorder.

Using Humor to Increase Persuasion of Shameful Health Issue Advertising: Testing the Effects of Individual’s Health Worry Levels • Hye Jin Yoon • Some health issues are strongly associated with shame, prompting individuals to withdraw from and avoid the issue. Using humor to communicate such issues can help buffer negative emotions and help reframe negative assessments. In testing the humor effects in shameful health issue advertising, an audience factor, a person’s general health worry level, is considered as a potential moderating variable. Three experiments found humor to benefit low health worry individuals in low shame conditions and high health worry individuals in high shame conditions. Theoretical and practical implications are given.

Social Representation of Cyberbullying and Adolescent Suicide: A Mixed-Method Analysis of News Stories • Rachel Young; Roma Subramanian; Stephanie Miles; Amanda Hinnant, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Julie Andsager, University of Tennessee • Cyberbullying has provoked public concern after well-publicized suicides of adolescents. This mixed-methods study investigates the social representation of these suicides. A content analysis of 189 U.S. newspaper articles found that nearly all articles suggest that bullying led to suicide. Few adhere to guidelines shown to protect against behavioral contagion. Thematic analysis found that individual suicides were used as cautionary tales to prompt attention to cyberbullying.

Facts, Not Fear: Negotiating Uncertainty on Social Media During the 2014 Ebola Crisis • Rachel Young; Melissa Tully, University of Iowa; Kajsa Dalrymple, University of Iowa • The recent Ebola outbreak posed communication challenges for the CDC. In a thematic analysis of more than 1,000 tweets as well as engagement with the public in Twitter chats, we found that the CDC emphasized organizational competence, extant protocol, and facts about transmission to manage public fear. An emphasis on certainty in a situation defined by uncertainty left the CDC vulnerable to charges of unpreparedness or obfuscation. Implications for future research are discussed.

Attitudes toward Antismoking Public Service Announcements: • Jay Hyunjae Yu; Changhyun Han, Sogang University • The smoking rate of younger adults (aged 18–24 years) has not changed much since 1997, even though much effort has been made by a range of organizations to encourage this group either to not initiate or to quit smoking. Among such efforts, public service announcements have been one of the major tools used to accomplish this goal. This experimental study (3 × 3 design) investigated the possible effects of using different types of endorsers (celebrities, professionals, peer groups) and different message framing styles (gain framing, loss framing, and neutral) to create better content for antismoking public service announcements. The results showed that there were not only main effects of different message framing styles, but also interaction effects of different endorsers and different message framing styles. More specifically, an antismoking public service announcement using celebrities and positively framed messages (i.e., talking about the positive consequences of quitting smoking) caused participants to show a better attitude toward the advertisement. The implications are provided for communication researchers and practitioners responsible for planning specific content for antismoking public service announcements.

The Effects of Self-Efficacy and Message Framing on Flu Vaccination Message Persuasiveness among College Students • Xuan Zhu; Jiyoon Lee; Lauren Duffy • In the present study, the authors investigated the potential interaction between self-efficacy and gain and loss message framing on the effectiveness of flu vaccination health messages in the college setting. Results from an experiment with 149 college student subjects showed that individuals with high self-efficacy exhibited greater intention to receive flu vaccination regardless of framing condition. In addition, an interaction between self-efficacy and perceived threat was evident on attitude. Implications for health intervention were discussed.

The Role of Efficacy Appraisal and Emotions on the Health Message Framing Effects • Xuan Zhu; Heewon Im, University of Minnesota • This study investigated the moderating role of efficacy appraisal (i.e., self-efficacy and response efficacy) on the message framing effects. Emotions were proposed to mediate message framing effects and the interaction between message framing and efficacy appraisal. Results from an experiment showed that efficacy appraisal moderated the message framing effects on attitude toward performing disease prevention behaviors. Happy and anger mediated message framing effects, but no supporting evidence was found for the mediated moderation effects.

2015 Abstracts

Print friendly Print friendly

About kysh