World Congress on Risk 2015
19-23 July, 2015, Singapore

Online Program

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Monday 20-07-2015

Communicating Risks About Climate Change: Securing Environmental Sustainability

Room: Breakthrough   14:00–15:30

Chair(s): Shirley Ho

1    Environmental Journalists and their Social Roles: Implications on Practice. Tandoc Jr Edson C., Nanyang Technological University (285)

Abstract: This presentation, which builds on, and advances, findings reported in two published articles on environmental journalists in the United States, focuses on how role conceptions as well as other factors influence how environmental journalists do their work, specifically how they choose their information sources for their environmental stories. This presentation and the two publications it builds from are based on a survey of environmental journalists and bloggers in the United States. The first publication focused on environmental journalists and looked at environmental journalists’ role conceptions compared with the roles supposedly espoused by their respective organizations. Journalistic roles are not only based on journalists’ individual conceptions but also on their perceptions of what their organizations expect from them. Thus, journalistic role conceptions are the melding of individual and organizational role conceptions. These roles do not always see eye to eye, especially for environmental journalists who must compete for space and attention with more sensational and more accessible political, crime or entertainment stories that organizations in search for profit might prioritize. The first study finds that such role inconsistencies exist and are influenced by both individual and organizational factors. The second publication compared the role conceptions of environmental journalists and bloggers. The study found that environmental journalists and environmental bloggers are similar and different at the same time. They have the same level of concern and perceived knowledge about the environment. But they also conceive of different roles in society and source their information differently. This presentation brings the findings of the two publications together and problematizes the impact of journalistic roles on journalistic practice.

2    Factors predicting public willingness to take actions against climate change in Taiwan. Shih Tsung-Jen, National Chengchi University (284)

Abstract: Global warming does not usually rank high on the list of environmental problems governments need to address and, even though people tend to be aware of global warming, there is a gap between such perception and relevant actions to combat the problem. In order to develop effective strategies for facilitating public actions, we conducted different studies to examine factors shaping public intention to act. In study one, we used an experiment of 261 participants in Taiwan, this study found that by framing global warming as a local issue, communication messages can trigger both analytic (issue relevance) and affective (negative emotions) appraisals, which, in turn, will increase people’s willingness to take actions. In study two, we used a Taiwanese survey conducted in 2013 and found that the number of media channel used, level of concerns, response efficacy, environmentally-related civic engagement served as significant predictor of intention to take actions. Implications of the findings will be discussed.

3    Examing Predictors of Public Green Buying and Environmental Civic Engagement in Singapore. Ho Shirley, Nanyang Technological University (283)

Abstract: Applying the theory of planned behavior and media dependency theory, this study examines the effects of attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, media dependency, traditional media attention, Internet attention, and interpersonal communication on two types of proenvironmental behaviors – green-buying and environmental civic engagement. Regression analysis of a nationally representative survey of adult Singaporeans (N = 1,168) indicated that attitude, perceived behavioral control, media dependency, traditional media attention, and interpersonal communication were positively associated with green-buying. Notably, traditional media attention, as well as interpersonal communication, moderated the influence of media dependency on green-buying behavior. In addition, attitude, descriptive norms, media dependency, Internet attention, and interpersonal communication positively predicted environmental civic engagement. Findings suggest the importance of communication factors in the adoption of the two types of proenvironmental behaviors. As climate change has become a pressing global issue, it is important to leverage on communication channels to highlight the risks about the issue and mobilize individuals to engage in climate change mitigation efforts. This panel focuses on the effects of mass media and social media and look at how communication can be used to motivate individuals to engage in proenvironmental behaviors, such as recycling, green buying, and environmental civic engagement. Given the notion that media coverage can shape public perceptions and attitudes toward climate change, panelists will discuss how journalists cover the issue of climate change in traditional and new media, and more specifically, how framing and narrative are used as tools to communicate the urgency of climate change to the public. Panelists will discuss these issues in the contexts of Singapore, Taiwan, and the U.S.

4    Serious games of climate change and the persuasive effects: Factors behind gamers’ perception of role taking. Chen Yen-Shen, National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan (286)

Abstract: This study recruited 151 Taiwanese participations, mainly from a local campus. They firstly read climate change news and were randomly been assigned to either (72) serious game condition or (79) control condition. Literatures suggested using context of the same game plot as a control setting in order to maintain the consistence of persuasive information. The material of serious game, namely “Eco-ego”, was an famous online flash game and players acted an avatar lived in an isolated island. Players needed to make a balance between life convenience and environmental index. Green behaviors such as cycling a bike instead of driving a car increased environmental index but decreased life convenience. After gaming, participants finished the scales of enjoyment, reactance, information utility, and attitudes of green issue and behaviors. Findings supported that gamers had relatively high enjoyment; however, the perception of role taking unexpectedly was higher in control condition. One explanation was the easiness of the flash game could reversely impact on role taking. Gamers did not involve the serious game playing and role taking, oppositely, readers of game plot had relative higher immersion by reading the game plot. We also found that the opposite outcome of role taking was due to the mediation of information utility. In addition, we found the serious game significantly impacted on attitude of sharing climate change information. But, there were no impacts on attitudes of donation, petition and discussion of climate change issue. Finally, serious gaming did not significantly predict the reduction of reactance. However, interestingly both serious game condition and control condition had low level of reactance in a 7 point Likert scale. It seemed Taiwanese were not strongly against the persuasive information of climate change regardless of different formats of persuasion. In sum, we concluded that serious game could increase certain attitudes of proenvironmental behaviors, such as sharing information.

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