This study investigates how posting information about the Zika virus on social media, and receiving information about Zika through the same platforms, are associated with personal, societal and global risk perceptions, and whether different types of risk perceptions are related to information seeking and preventive behavior intentions. A survey of U.S. participants (N = 958) revealed that posting information on social media is positively associated with personal and societal risk perceptions but not with global risk perceptions. Receiving information through social media, however, is positively associated with personal, societal and global risk perceptions. Personal and societal risk perceptions are associated with high information seeking intentions, which in turn leads to preventive behavioral intentions. The results suggest that so-called risk butterflies—those who frequently post information on social media—relate the health crisis to themselves and to their communities, and that these are important motivations for information-seeking and risk preventive behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Library and Information Sciences