Online amplification of air pollution risk perception: the moderating role of affect in information

Yu Guo, Yiwei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the amplification effect of the Internet on Chinese people’s air pollution risk perception. Analyses are based on data collected from a sample of Internet users in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou (N = 328). This study assumes that the characteristics of online information ‒ availability of information and affect in information ‒ will significantly contribute to the increase in air pollution risk perception. Results of path analysis indicated marginal significance of the effect of information availability on air pollution risk perception. Regarding the influence of affect in information, results showed that information including appeals to affect significantly increased perceived risk of air pollution; meanwhile, it also functioned as a moderator that significantly increased the strength of the causal relationship between information availability and risk perception. Findings of this study suggest that strategies for appropriately amplifying risk perception such as using heuristics may contribute to promoting public awareness of risks as well as encouraging public participation in the social effort to tackle risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-93
Number of pages14
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 2


  • Air pollution risk perception
  • affect in information
  • information availability
  • social amplification
  • the Internet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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