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World Medical and Health Policy

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The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty and controversy around risk-related issues such as vaccine mandates. People expressing their opinions on these issues to important others, such as employers, may face significant consequences, such as rewards or rejection. Therefore, people may try to find, avoid, or use information in a way that helps them express risk judgments that are socially acceptable in different social situations. This study investigated how people seek, avoid, and process risk information when they are concerned about their impression management. It also introduced the concept of impression information insufficiency (the perceived gap between the information one has and the information one needs to convey socially acceptable judgments and meet interpersonal needs in social situations) and examined its antecedents and outcomes within the risk information seeking and processing model. We conducted an online survey with 1673 Hong Kong adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that fear and social norms related to greater impression information insufficiency, which thereby was associated with biased risk information seeking, avoidance, and processing.


World Medical and Health Policy, (2024): 1-29. DOI. © 2024 The Authors, published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Policy Studies Organization. Permission has been granted for this version to appear in e-Publications@Marquette.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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