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Social media effects? Exploring the relationships among communication channels, scientific knowledge and BSE risk perceptions

Miri Moon (Graduate School of International Service, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, The Republic of Korea)
Jae-chul Shim (School of Media and Communication, Korea University, Seoul, The Republic of Korea)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 5 August 2019

Issue publication date: 28 October 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships among media exposure, general scientific knowledge and the public’s risk perceptions of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).


Data for this study are based on a survey of 1,001 South Korean adult consumers (502 females and 499 males). The data were analyzed using SPSS 17.0, and multiple linear regression was performed to examine the relationships between risk perceptions and the types of media channel exposure, as well as between risk perceptions and general scientific knowledge.


Results showed that among the measured socio-demographic characteristics, gender was a significant factor. With regard to the variability of media exposure, individuals who were exposed to more internet news were found to have higher risk perceptions in terms of how BSE could affect themselves, while respondents who were more exposed to social networking sites (SNSs) were concerned about how the disease could affect others.


This study provides additional evidence of the third-person effect in risk perceptions of BSE, filling scientific knowledge gaps. Hence, this study suggests that the types of media channels (internet news, television and SNSs) should be considered as significant predictors of risk perceptions about food hazards related to the health of the consumer and others.



Moon, M. and Shim, J.-c. (2019), "Social media effects? Exploring the relationships among communication channels, scientific knowledge and BSE risk perceptions", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 281-297.



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