Z. Janet Yang

Z. Janet Yang
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York | SUNY Buffalo · Department of Communication

Ph.D.

About

60
Publications
15,270
Reads
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1,963
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2009 - present
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2005 - June 2009
Cornell University
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
This study examines social cognitive factors that influence information sharing related to climate change. Survey data were collected in the United States and China. Social and epistemic motivations, negative emotion, and information seeking were significant predictors of information sharing in the U.S. sample. In the Chinese sample, however, socia...
Article
Full-text available
Guided by the risk information-seeking and processing model, this study examines positive and negative affect separately in their influence on information-seeking intentions and avoidance through structural equation analyses. The highlight is that information avoidance seems to be driven by positive affect, while information seeking seems to be mor...
Article
Full-text available
To understand what motivates people to attend to information about clinical trial enrollment, this study applies the risk information seeking and processing model (RISP) to explore potential differences in multichannel information seeking between (a) the general population and (b) cancer patients and their caregivers. The unique context of clinical...
Article
This study extends a risk information seeking and processing model to explore the relative effect of cognitive processing strategies, positive and negative emotions, and normative beliefs on individuals' decision making about potential health risks. Most previous research based on this theoretical framework has examined environmental risks. Applyin...
Article
Although college students were among the populations that had the highest frequency of infection for H1N1 influenza, only 8% of them received H1N1 vaccine this past flu season nationwide. During the peak of this pandemic, information about H1N1 vaccine was widely available. However, knowledge test and behavioral data indicated that most college stu...
Article
There has been a steep growth in the number of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects globally. However, Americans remain relatively unfamiliar with this climate change mitigation technology, even in communities where the projects would be sited. Using the technology acceptance model as our theoretical framework, this study examined how benefit-...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change has been increasingly discussed in moral terms in public discourse. Despite the growing body of research on the effectiveness of moral frames in bridging the ideological divide, few studies have examined the role that perceived credibility, an important element of any persuasive appeal, plays in facilitating the framing effect. With...
Article
Based on data collected from a representative sample of American adults, this study explores social cognitive variables that motivate Americans to validate rumors about Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma on social media. Results indicate that risk perception and negative emotions are positively related to systematic processing of relevant risk inf...
Article
Using two samples of U.S. adults (Study 1: N = 336; Study 2: N = 2329), this study features a messaging experiment utilizing a between-subjects design, with a no-message control group, to explore the impact of a narrative video, in comparison to an infographic video, on support for sustainable aquaculture. Results indicate that the infographic vide...
Article
Applying the solution aversion model in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we examine how ideology and support for free markets influence Americans’ assessment of COVID-19 risks and support for mitigation policies. Results from an experiment ( N = 438) indicate that conservatives are more likely to dismiss the risks of COVID-19 when governmental...
Poster
Full-text available
To gain a more holistic understanding on what drives people’s intention to provide aid, we study how different psychological distance (social and spatial; hypothetical), which is the ability to think about objects, events, or individuals beyond our immediate context, influence emotions and risk perception. The first survey (N = 943) was conducted...
Article
Full-text available
Ethnic and racial minority communities often suffer more from disasters due to a lack of access to resources from governmental agencies and other organizations that provide disaster relief. To explore the role of social media in addressing this problem, this study investigates whether a popular social messaging application among the Chinese immigra...
Article
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for people to engage in prosocial behaviours to support one another. The aim of this research is to answer a key question: in a social crisis, what motivates Americans to help others? Guided by research on appraisal theories and ecosystem theory, we examined the role of compassionate goals and prosocial...
Article
Full-text available
This research focuses on three factors that influence how individuals cognitively process information related to the coronavirus outbreak. Guided by dual-process theories of information processing, we establish how the two different information processing modes (system 1: heuristic processing; system 2: systematic processing) are influenced by indi...
Article
Considerable research suggests narrative persuasion’s attitudinal and behavioral effects in health and environmental contexts. Whether the format of narrative presentation influences these effects, however, remains unclear. We use an online experiment ( N = 2,225), comparing text and video conditions, to evaluate how exposure to narrative influence...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster presented at the Society for Risk Analysis 2019 *Top poster award
Article
Research has long identified narrative persuasion as an effective health communication strategy. This study explores temporal distance perception, which is the perceived distance of a health threat, as a possible psychological mechanism through which narrative persuasion influences young adults’ attitude and behavioral intention related to e-cigare...
Article
This study examines the interaction effect of message format (narrative vs. nonnarrative) and message framing (gain vs. loss) in e‐cigarette prevention targeting young adults. Results of a two‐way experiment (N = 439) revealed that transportation and discrete emotions mediated message effect on risk perception and behavioral intention. Compared to...
Article
Full-text available
The present study builds on research related to the illusion of skills acquisition and the risk perception attitude framework to examine positive risk-taking intention amongst youths. Positive risk-taking allows youths to experience self-growth as they push through boundaries when engaging in creative activities. Through a longitudinal between-subj...
Article
Construal‐level theory suggests that high‐level abstract features weigh more in people's decision‐making at farther distance, while low‐level concrete features weigh more at closer distance. Based on this, we propose that psychological distance will influence the effect of risk versus efficacy framing on climate change engagement. In particular, ri...
Article
This study examines the use of narrative persuasion in promoting human papillomavirus vaccination. Compared to non-narrative message, the narrative message increased perceived severity of human papillomavirus, which influenced vaccination intention through heightened fear. The narrative message also dampened hope and subsequently decreased vaccinat...
Article
Anchored by construal level theory and appraisal theories of emotion, this study examines whether discrete emotions vary along with perceived psychological distance of climate change impacts. We found that reduced psychological distance perception led to an increase in concrete emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, and guilt. In contrast, increase...
Article
This study is focused on social cognitive variables that motivate information seeking and information sharing related to Hurricane Harvey. Survey results from a nationally representative sample and a quota sample of Houston residents indicate that climate change beliefs and issue salience are consistent predictors of risk perception, which increase...
Article
Research on disaster resilience has increasingly focused on the role of social capital and online social networks in disaster recovery. This study complements this field of research by investigating three under addressed issues. First, we analyzed how a social messaging application, WeChat, helped individuals access and mobilize bonding, bridging a...
Article
Full-text available
Air pollution is a major environmental problem in China and it poses serious risks to public health. Based on the social amplification of risk framework (SARF), this study examines how media, in particular, an impactful environmental documentary titled Under the Dome, influenced Chinese citizens’ risk perception about air pollution. Survey results...
Article
This study focuses on motivators of information processing during the 2016 U.S. presidential election cycle in relation to two specific topics—the election itself and the issue of climate change. We conducted two national surveys based on the risk information seeking and processing model (RISP) in October 2016, about a month before Election Day. Re...
Article
Construal level theory of psychological distance suggests that people are likely to pay more attention to contextual cues when appraising proximal, rather than distant stimuli. We tested the theory in the climate change context by examining if framing climate change impacts in a psychologically close way may motivate the American public to support...
Article
Unlike the United States, where human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines have been available for decades, China recently approved its first HPV vaccines. Setting up a baseline comparison between these two countries, this study examines the influence of message framing, motivational orientation, cultural worldview, knowledge, and gender on young adults'...
Article
Objective: This study aims to examine the impacts of gain vs. loss-framed messages and narrative messages on Chinese women's intentions to get HPV vaccines for their children. Methods: A survey experiment was conducted among Chinese females (N = 453) assessing their responses to 3 types of messages (i.e. gain-framed, loss-framed and narrative) d...
Article
News coverage of the 2016 U.S. presidential election periodically framed the election in terms of risk. We sought to better understand the role of perceived risk and related emotional responses in shaping information seeking intent during the election. We turned to the planned risk information seeking model (Kahlor, 2010) as our theoretical framewo...
Article
It is commonly suggested that reducing the psychological distance of climate change will increase public engagement. However, extant studies are limited by their correlational design, or by depicting impacts that vary in distance but also in kind or severity. We conducted two experiments designed to vary distance only, holding impacts constant. U.S...
Article
Based on data from a Qualtrics panel, this study examines Chinese citizens’ motivations for information seeking about air pollution. Results from structural equation modelling indicate that information insufficiency, negative affect, attitudes toward seeking, and perceived information gathering capacity are positively related to information seeking...
Article
Research suggests that hurricane-related risk perception is a critical predictor of behavioral response, such as evacuation. Less is known, however, about the precursors of these subjective risk judgments, especially when time has elapsed from a focal event. Drawing broadly from the risk communication, social psychology, and natural hazards literat...
Conference Paper
Air pollution is a major environmental problem in China and it poses serious risks to public health. Based on the social amplification of risk framework, this study examines how media, in particular, an impactful environmental documentary titled Under the Dome, influenced Chinese citizens’ risk perception about air pollution. Survey results showed...
Conference Paper
Based on data from a Qualtrics panel, this study examines Chinese citizens’ motivations for information seeking about air pollution. Results from structural equation modeling indicate that information insufficiency, negative affect, attitudes toward seeking, and perceived information gathering capacity exert significant positive influence on inform...
Article
The appraisal tendency framework (ATF) suggests that discrete emotions mediate the relationship between cognitive appraisals and behaviors. Based on the ATF, this study analyzed and found that fear, anger, anxiety, disgust, and sadness were positively related to the US public’s risk perception about the Ebola outbreak. Fear was also found to inhibi...
Article
A nationally representative sample of 1,046 U.S. adults was randomly assigned to two experimental conditions that triggered different degrees of risk perception related to the Ebola outbreak. In the high-risk condition, issue salience and deliberate processing increased individuals' altruistic behavioral intention. In contrast, cultural cognition w...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted an experiment to examine whether risk perceptions of alcohol-attributable cancer influence college students' binge-drinking intention and to explore how message formats (text, table, and graph) and numeracy influence risk perceptions of alcohol-attributable cancer. We found that a majority of participants (87%) perceive some risks of a...
Article
We conducted an experiment to examine whether risk perceptions of alcohol-attributable cancer influence college students' binge-drinking intention and to explore how message formats (text, table, and graph) and numeracy influence risk perceptions of alcohol-attributable cancer. We found that a majority of participants (87%) perceive some risks of a...
Article
We conducted an experiment to examine whether risk perceptions of alcohol-attributable cancer influence college students' binge-drinking intention and to explore how message formats (text, table, and graph) and numeracy influence risk perceptions of alcohol-attributable cancer. We found that a majority of participants (87%) perceive some risks of a...
Article
Full-text available
This study extends the central part of the risk information seeking and processing model to examine how message elaboration influences individuals’ support for climate change mitigation policy and their intention to engage in pro-environmental behavior. Data were collected through online experimental surveys at two large universities in the Northea...
Article
Young adults 19 through 24 years of age were among the populations that had the highest frequency of infection from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. However, over the 2009-2010 flu season, H1N1 vaccine uptake among college students nationwide was around 8%. To explore the social cognitive factors that influenced their intentions to get the H1N1 vaccine, thi...
Article
Full-text available
This study applies the risk information seeking and processing (RISP) model to examine how information processing influences individuals' support for climate change mitigation policy. Perceived issue salience, attitude toward climate information, and systematic processing are positively related to policy support, whereas heuristic processing is not...
Article
Full-text available
This study advances the Extended Parallel Process Model through the inclusion of response cost measures, which are drawbacks associated with a proposed response to a health threat. A sample of 502 college students completed a questionnaire on perceptions regarding sexually transmitted infections and condom use after reading information from the Cen...
Article
Full-text available
This study relies on state‐of‐the‐art meta‐analytical techniques to assess overall effects of the Risk Information Seeking and Processing (RISP) model. The results support the utility of the RISP model in predicting risk information seeking and systematic processing. However, the model demonstrated limited explanatory power for heuristic processing...
Article
Objective This study investigated the influence of affect on individuals' intentions to engage in physical activities such as exercise. Behavior intentions were examined through the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB).Method An experimental survey was conducted among 153 undergraduates randomly assigned to three conditions – positive affect, neutral,...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports on a study designed to explore individual differences in uncertainty-reducing behavior regarding new and existing friends via online information seeking (OIS). Personality traits and social context were measured by surveying a sample of 377 Facebook users. Global uncertainty had a positive relationship with active information see...
Chapter
Full-text available
In an effort to better understand the ways in which risk messages can indirectly affect risk-related behaviors, this review explores the links between such messages and information seeking and processing. The narrative first offers a brief look at the literature that shores up salient concepts, and then moves to a model of risk information seeking...
Article
Full-text available
We applied structural equation modeling to examine how the Risk Information Seeking and Processing (RISP) model predicts information-seeking intentions in the United States and China. The context for this comparison was climate change. Results indicate that in the Chinese sample, seeking intentions were less influenced by environmental attitudes, r...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines college students’ intention to seek information about the H1N1 flu vaccine. We specifically focused on the relationship between trust and affect and whether they work together to influence risk information seeking. Results indicated that positive affect moderated the relationship between trust and information seeking, but negati...
Article
This study examines theoretical linkages between the Risk Information Seeking and Processing model (RISP) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) in a context of health decision making related to potential risks involved in clinical trials. A decade after the RISP model was proposed, abundant empirical evidence attesting to the model’s robustness...
Article
Low patient accrual in clinical trials poses serious concerns for the advancement of medical science in the United States. Past research has identified health communication as a crucial step in overcoming barriers to enrollment. However, few communication scholars have studied this problem from a sociopsychological perspective to understand what mo...
Article
This study investigates whether perceived fairness of doctor-patient interactions relates to individuals' willingness to communicate with their doctors about clinical trial enrollment. It also explores how willingness to talk, the perceived fairness of interactions, and trust in doctors relate to intentions to participate in a future clinical trial...
Article
To investigate cancer patients' motivations for clinical trial enrollment, this study tests the proposition that a model of Risk Information Seeking and Processing (RISP) could serve as an antecedent to the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). With data from a telephone survey, we examined whether components of the RISP model had significant impact on...
Article
Attracting new technologies to a region can mean significant economic growth, so understanding why some communities may not favor becoming "the next Silicon Valley" merits consideration. This study investigates the relationship among the perceived behavior of local scientists and community members' attitudes toward their research. Drawing on theori...
Article
Full-text available
In an effort to understand what motivates people to attend to information about flood risks, this study applies the Risk Information Seeking and Processing model to explore how local residents responded to damaging river flooding in the Milwaukee area. The results indicate that anger at managing agencies was associated with the desire for informati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Core variables and propositions from a model originally designed to describe information seeking and processing about risks are applied to energy issues. Results indicate that perceived social pressures to learn about energy information, information sufficiency motivation, individuals’ perceived processing abilities, and their beliefs about availab...