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Crisis communication : the role of message type and information processing during a nuclear waste accident

Hingmann, N.M. (2020) Crisis communication : the role of message type and information processing during a nuclear waste accident.

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Abstract:This research focused on the effect of narrative versus statistical messages on behavioral intentions and whether it is mediated by the heuristic information processing system during a crisis situation. Therefore, an online experiment was developed, whereby participants were confronted with a fictitious crisis scenario about a nuclear waste accident. Then, they received either a statistical or a first-person narrative message about recommendations for preventing radioactive contamination. Afterwards, they filled in a questionnaire. It was expected that a narrative message would result in higher values for these dependent variables than a statistical message. Additionally, information processing was measured (systematic vs. heuristic). A mediating role of heuristic processing on the dependent variables was anticipated while reading a narrative message. In contrast to the expectations, the findings of this study show that crisis perception, perceived efficacy, and behavioral intention were higher after reading a statistical message. Still, this study supports the hypothesis that the statistical message was processed systematically and the narrative message heuristically. However, no mediation effect was found. For future research, it is recommended to build a more reliable crisis scenario, by using e.g. Virtual Reality (VR) and to include more variables to the scale, such as source credibility.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/83530
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