Title: The role of personal experience and media exposure on personal and impersonal risk perceptions and policy support: the case of global warming

Authors: Xiao Wang

Addresses: School of Communication, Rochester Institute of Technology, 92 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, USA

Abstract: The impersonal impact hypothesis states that media exposure and personal experience influence one's impersonal and personal risk perceptions, respectively. This investigation examined the relationships among US consumers' (N = 572) media exposure, personal experience, risk perceptions, and policy support in the context of global warming. This investigation provided mixed support for the impersonal impact hypothesis such that news and climate/science media exposure did not predict impersonal impact. Personal experience predicted both impersonal and personal risk perceptions. We further examined how knowledge of global warming and trust in scientists mediated the relationships between media exposure, personal experience, and risk perceptions. It revealed that impersonal impact, but not personal impact, supported policy to alleviate global warming. Both theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

Keywords: climate change; personal experience; media exposure; risk perceptions; policy support.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2018.095387

International Journal of Global Warming, 2018 Vol.16 No.3, pp.320 - 336

Received: 13 Oct 2017
Accepted: 27 Mar 2018

Published online: 21 Sep 2018 *

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