How Do Information Resources Influence the Public Environmental Risk Perception? A National Survey in China
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School of Public Administration and Policy, Renmin University of China, Beijing 214122, China
Shanghai Foreign Language School, Shanghai 200083, China
School of International and Public Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
Submission date: 2023-04-14
Final revision date: 2023-08-01
Acceptance date: 2023-08-29
Online publication date: 2023-11-15
Publication date: 2024-01-03
Corresponding author
Guanghua Han   

Public Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Huashan Road 1954, Shanghai, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2024;33(1):741-752
Information shapes people’s psychological risk perception and attitude to governmental policies, which provides managerial insights to risk communications. Due to the variance in the content, timing, and frequency of information channels, each risk information channel gains different credibility from the public. In turn, information channels with high credibility might have a stronger effect on the public’s risk perception than channels with low credibility. We conducted a nationwide survey (Asia Barometer Survey 2015) to explore citizens’ fundamental understanding of general environmental risk perceptions and to examine the informational factors that influents residents’ risk perception. The results reveal that environmental information exposure to netizens is strong, online information is easily accepted by citizens, and other information channels do not have significant effects. Factors such as age, educational attainment, household income, and location (urban/rural) were found to be related to the degree of risk perception, but gender was not. The provision of information over social media reshapes public risk perception by increasing self-reported knowledge, reducing trust, and making people more fearful. The study revealed the diverse effects of information sources of media on risk communication.
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