The Perception of Risk Messages through Facebook during Severe Weather Events
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This study used computer-mediated focus groups to investigate how college students perceive risk messages about severe weather that are communicated through Facebook. The results of this study found that perceptions of risk were consistent with many factors outlined by the Risk Perception Model, developed by Covello, Peters, Wojtecki, & Hyde (2001). Despite this, communication using Facebook requires additional factors to be considered. The model should be amended to differentiate between the different levels of trust that influence perceptions on Facebook. The tone of the message becomes a factor separate from the previously established factors of risk perception. These findings stem from the perception among college students that Facebook is a platform meant for entertainment and socializing. These implications lead to many practical considerations that risk communicators can use to increase the perception of risk during severe-weather events in order to encourage individuals to take action to protect lives and property.
Master of Arts