Green Narratives: How Affective Responses to Media Messages Influence Risk Perceptions and Policy Preferences About Environmental Hazards

Kathryn E. Cooper*, Erik C. Nisbet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the relationships between narrative involvement, affect, risk perceptions, and environmental policy preferences. Experiment 1 involved a 3 (news, documentary, entertainment) × 2 (hydraulic fracturing, genetically modified organisms) mixed between- and within-subjects experiment. Results indicated a serial mediation model in which narrative involvement increased the likelihood of a negative affective response, in turn increasing risk perceptions and policy preferences for stricter regulation of environmental hazards. In Experiment 2, the pathway was tested for positively valenced content. Narrative involvement with positively valenced media produced a significantly lower negative affective response than negatively valenced media, but no difference terms of positive affect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-654
Number of pages29
JournalScience Communication
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • affect
  • documentary
  • environmental policy
  • narrative
  • risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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