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J Health Commun. 2006;11(1):75-91.

Defining moments in risk communication research: 1996-2005.

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  • 1Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. kam19@cornell.edu

Abstract

Ten years ago, scholars suggested that risk communication was embarking on a new phase that would give increased attention to the social contexts that surround and encroach on public responses to risk information. A decade later, many researchers have answered the call, with several defining studies examining the social and psychological influences on risk communication. This article reviews risk communication research appearing in the published literature since 1996. Among studies, social trust, the social amplification of risk framework, and the affect heuristic figured prominently. Also common were studies examining the influence of risk in the mass media. Among these were content analyses of media coverage of risk, as well as investigations of possible effects resulting from coverage. The use of mental models was a dominant method for developing risk message content. Other studies examined the use of risk comparisons, narratives, and visuals in the production of risk messages. Research also examined how providing information about a risk's severity, social norms, and efficacy influenced communication behaviors and intentions to follow risk reduction measures. Methods for conducting public outreach in health risk communication rounded out the literature.

PMID:
16546920
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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