Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Griffin, Robert J.

Second Advisor

Chattopadhyay, Sumana

Third Advisor

Wolburg, Joyce M.


This study sets out to draw connections among key components within three conceptual models: the Risk Information Seeking and Processing model, the Heuristic-Systematic Model, and the Theory of Planned Behavior. Specifically, it proposes and tests the theoretical linkages among heuristic and systematic information processing, depth of processing, attitude stability, and behavioral intention. Archival data drawn from a panel survey that concerns health risks from drinking municipal tap water are used for theory testing. Findings reveal that systematic processing is positively related to number of strongly held behavioral beliefs, strength of belief outcome evaluations, and strength of cognitive structure--all indicated depth of processing, and that heuristic processing is negatively related to all three measures. Cognitive structure and attitude toward the behavior appear to be consistent in direction and strength. Attitude toward the behavior, subjective norms, and alternative behavior are positively related to behavioral intention. An anticipated positive relationship between perceived behavioral control and behavioral intention was not found. Finally, theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

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