February 17, 2020

Understanding risk information seeking and processing during an infectious disease outbreak: The case of Zika virus

A Hubner, & S Hovick

Risk Analysis


This study draws on the Planned Risk Information Seeking Model (PRISM) to assess Zika virus information seeking and systematic processing, paying particular attention to the relationship between perceived knowledge and knowledge insufficiency. Novel risks, such as Zika, provide an interesting context for examining whether information-seeking models, such as PRISM, are able to predict information seeking when available information is limited or scarce. A cross-sectional, online study of men and women of childbearing age (N = 494) residing in the state of Florida was conducted. Our results provide some support for the PRISM for predicting Zika information seeking intention, as well as systematic processing of information. We also found that individuals with high levels of perceived knowledge were more likely to report high level of knowledge insufficiency, illustrating that contextual factors may impact the fit of risk information seeking models.

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