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Despite the increasing use of digital media and their powerful impact on risk management during recent outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, the question of how digital media exposure influences preventive behaviors has not been fully explained. Using the appraisal tendency framework and protection motivation theory as theoretical frameworks, we theorized the affective and cognitive mechanisms under which the differential roles of three negative emotions (fear, anger, worry) on two cognitive appraisals (perceived threat and perceived efficacy) were examined. Based on data collected from a survey of 1,500 South Koreans during the COVID-19 pandemic, we found that while worry and anger increased perceived efficacy, fear reduced perceived efficacy. The results also showed that although exposure to COVID-19 information via digital formats increased preventive behavioral intention in general, digital media use for COVID-19 information had a negative influence on preventive behavioral intention through the sequential mediation of fear and perceived efficacy.
Choi, J. H., & Noh, G. Y. (2022). Exploring the Psychological Mechanism Underlying the Effect of COVID-19 Information Exposure via Digital Media on COVID-19 Preventive Behavioral Intention. Asian Journal for Public Opinion Research, 10(2), 76-101.