To know or not to know? Exploring COVID-19 information seeking with the risk information seeking and processing model

Xianlin Jin, Derek Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce uncertainty, the public needs accurate and timely information. Inspired by the risk information seeking and processing (RISP) model, this article discovers the significant predictors of individuals’ COVID-19 information-seeking intention and behaviour. Overall, 394 adult participants from 47 states completed this study’s online survey. The hierarchical regression analysis reveals that risk experience and informational subjective norms are the most substantial predictors of individuals’ online information-seeking behaviour about COVID-19. Information insufficiency did not predict information seeking, and participants tend to overestimate their knowledge about COVID-19. RISP variables tend to share power in explaining the variances of information-seeking behaviour. Moreover, both channel beliefs and perceived information gathering capacity moderate information insufficiency’s prediction of information-seeking intention. These findings will assist researchers in discovering the fundamental motivation of information seeking. This article can guide pragmatic interventions to reduce the public’s uncertainty and mitigate the risk.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Information Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • crisis
  • health communication
  • information seeking
  • RISP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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