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SCENE MATTERS: STRATEGIC USE OF SIMILARITY AND FRAMING IN NARRATIVE RISK COMMUNICATION

dc.contributor.advisorHample, Dale J.en_US
dc.contributor.authorKirby-Straker, Rowena Rowie Jean-Louiseen_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-12-04T06:30:57Z
dc.date.available2014-12-04T06:30:57Z
dc.date.issued2014en_US
dc.identifierhttps://doi.org/10.13016/M23S41
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1903/16004
dc.description.abstractHuman health risks and environmental risks are different and are perceived differently; health risks primarily threaten human health, whereas environmental risks threaten both human and environmental health. Nonetheless people tend to view environmental risks as impersonal, primarily threatening nonhuman elements or distant others, making it difficult for risk communicators to motivate target audiences to take risk-mitigating actions. This dissertation argues that because environmental risks threaten both health and the environment, messages about this category of risk can be framed in either a health or an environmental context as a means of altering risk perceptions. It is further asserted that, all things being equal, message features that are more or less relevant to either the health or the environmental frame will achieve different results depending on which message frame is used. As a means of investigating this claim, two types of similarity (demographic similarity and scene similarity) were manipulated in a 2 (risk frame: health, environmental) × 2 (demographic similarity: high, low) × 2 (scene similarity: high, low) between-subjects experiment (N = 568), in which participants were exposed to a message about drought framed as either a health or an environmental risk. The results show that scene similarity interacts with the two message frames (health and environmental) for narrative persuasion and behavior-related variables. Specifically, high (versus low) scene similarity resulted in better persuasive outcomes for the health frame than for the environmental frame, whereas low (versus high) scene similarity resulted in better persuasive outcomes for the environmental frame than for the health frame. Additionally, the study found that framing an environmental risk as a health risk increased behavioral intention and behavioral expectation. Furthermore, high (versus low) personal relevance improved risk perception, narrative persuasion, behavioral intention and expectation, and response efficacy. The study has implications for health and environmental risk communication, particularly for impersonal risks that people perceive to be of low personal relevance, and opens up new avenues for research and practice in areas such as climate change communication and entertainment-education. Limitations, implications, and recommendations for replications and extensions are discussed.en_US
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleSCENE MATTERS: STRATEGIC USE OF SIMILARITY AND FRAMING IN NARRATIVE RISK COMMUNICATIONen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US
dc.contributor.publisherDigital Repository at the University of Marylanden_US
dc.contributor.publisherUniversity of Maryland (College Park, Md.)en_US
dc.contributor.departmentCommunicationen_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledCommunicationen_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledClimate changeen_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledPublic healthen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledclimate changeen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledhealth risken_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledimpersonal risken_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledpersonal relevanceen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledrisk communicationen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledsimilarityen_US


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