Seeking and Processing Information about Impersonal Risk
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Attempts to model risk response tend to focus on risks that pose a direct personal threat. This study examined the applicability of one risk response model to impersonal risks—risks that threaten something other than the self, in this case, the environment. This study utilized a section of the Griffin et al. risk-information seeking and processing model, which depicts relationships between informational subjective norms and information seeking and processing as being mediated by perceptions of information insufficiency. The results indicate that while those relationships do hold for impersonal risk, informational subjective norms (perceived social pressure to be informed) may play an even more complex role than initially anticipated. These norms may be a powerful predictor of seeking and processing when individuals face impersonal risks.