Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

Sei-Hill Kim


Using secondary data collected in South Korea, this study explores possible factors that may affect the way the public perceives risks of food hazards. The present study incorporates scientific knowledge, socio-demographic factors, trust in information sources, news media use, and engaging in interpersonal communication as the possible factors. This study also examines how two levels of risk perception–personal and societal – are related with preventive behaviors concerning food safety. More specifically, the current study examines whether personal-level risk perception correlates more closely than societal-level risk perception with one’s intention to engage in preventive behaviors.

Findings show that personal-level risk perception was significantly associated with the intention to take preventive actions. Societal-level risk perception, however, did not show such a significant relationship. To increase personal-level risk perception, findings suggests that risk communication practitioners and policy makers need to consider the role of word-of-mouth and Internet-based communication, sociodemographic characteristics, and trust in information sources when they convey food risk information.


© 2014, Sang-Hwa Oh

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