AN EXTENSION OF THE RISK PERCEPTION ATTITUDE (RPA) FRAMEWORK: EXAMINING THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THINKING STYLE, LOCUS OF CONTROL, ANXIETY, AND INFORMATION SEEKING
Turner, Monique M
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this dissertation was to reexamine the effects of psychological determinants, specifically risk perceptions and self-efficacy beliefs as predicted by the Risk Perception Attitude Framework (RPA) (Rimal & Real, 2003) on anxiety, information seeking behavior, and knowledge acquisition. Additional goals of this dissertation were to test anxiety as a mediating variable between RPA group membership and information seeking, as well as between RPA group membership and knowledge acquisition; to begin to understand what types of information each of the RPA groups seek; and to test the RPA framework as a model. Furthermore, this dissertation extended the RPA framework by incorporating the effects of cognitive processing, namely thinking style (Nisbett, Peng, Choi, & Norenzayan, 2001) and locus of control (Rotter, 1954) on anxiety to increase the predictive power of the RPA framework model. After conducting a pilot test, it was determined that the context of the experimental messages would be about human papillomavirus (HPV). The data supported the hypotheses that those in the anxious group (individuals with high risk perceptions and low self efficacy beliefs) experienced higher levels of anxiety than the other groups, that the RPA framework was a viable model for predicting information seeking and knowledge acquisition, and finally, that cognitive processing (i.e. thinking style and locus of control) increased the predictive power of the RPA framework. However, the data indicated that that the relationship between RPA group membership (based on an interaction between perceived risk and self efficacy beliefs) and HPV information seeking, as well as knowledge acquisition was not mediated by anxiety. Participants who engaged in HPV information seeking were predominantly interested in finding out general information regarding the virus, rather than specific to risk or efficacy information. Limitations, implications, practical application and future directions are discussed.