Is air pollution a serious threat to me or society? Information sources as explanatory variables for different risk perceptions and behaviors : 대기오염은 나에게 위험한가 사회에 위험한가: 메시지 접촉 경로에 따른 위험 인식 및 행동 차이

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사회과학대학 언론정보학과
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서울대학교 대학원
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 사회과학대학 언론정보학과, 2018. 8. 이철주.
Air pollution information has been made available to the public in South Korea. However, relatively little work has been done to explore the impact of this information and the ways in which it is interpreted by the members of the public. In this study, we examined the mechanism by which the media affects individuals social/personal risk perceptions and behavior by observing the through utilization of the portal website content analysis and a nationally representative survey.

Study 1 included a content analysis of air pollution buzz data in Naver and Daum, which are the two most visited websites in South Korea. Data included fine particulate matter related documents from microblogs, communities, and Q&A of portal websites between August 7 and September 6, 2017. A content analysis of fine PM related documents was conducted with hierarchical clustering analysis(HCA) and multi-dimensional scaling(MDS). A total of 5,808 documents were crawled. The content analysis using semantic network analysis followed by hierarchical clustering and multidimensional scaling revealed the frames and their closeness in the context of the fine particulate pollution issue. We could notice many discussions were personal frames which contained personal countermeasures or causes. Especially, personal counteractions such as ventilation, cleaning, or facial mask were pointed out as the reaction to the air pollution problem as well as physical symptoms such as rhinitis, eye, skin, and concern. Therefore, we could conclude that air pollution information on the Internet is mostly composed of personal framed messages rather than focusing on social causes or effects.

In study 2, this study aimed to empirically test the relationship between the media contents, risk perception and behavioral intentions by conducting a nationally representative survey between September 7 to 19, 2017. Study participants consisted of 981 adults. The survey results showed that the mass media exposure is not related to both perception of social risk and personal risk, after controlling for sociodemographic and scientific knowledge. However, interpersonal communication was positively related to both perceptions of social risk and personal risk. Internet only led to increased level of personal risk perception.

The cross-sectional test was examined through hierarchical multiple regression predicting pro-environmental behavior and self-protective behavior intention. After controlling other variables, the significant final beta of all kinds of risk were each positively related to pro-environmental behavior and self-protective behavior intention. Results indicated some support for predictions derived from the impersonal impact hypothesis, however, the impact of mass media was found not to have significant impact on audiences perceptions of air pollution risk to self or to the others. Instead, interpersonal communication was found to have an impact on both personal and society-level risk. In addition, the Internet had an impact on personal risk only. This may have caused by traits of messages on the Internet, which is seen in content analysis that many fine particulate matter-related discussions are personal-framed. On the basis of our findings, we make some suggestions regarding ways of developing air pollution campaigns that are more responsive to the public.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Dept. of Communication (언론정보학과)Theses (Master's Degree_언론정보학과)
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