Between the facts and a hard place: Trust judgments and affective responses in information-seeking processes during Early COVID-19
Ivanka Pjesivac, Eldredge, S., Dalton, E., & Miller, L. (2023). “Between the facts and a hard place: Trust judgments and affective responses in information-seeking processes during Early COVID-19,” Health Communication. Advance online publication: DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2023.2171561
Abstract: This study examined the formation of trust judgments of information sources about COVID-19 and the role played by emotions in this information seeking process. In-depth interviews with Americans revealed that both trust and affective responses were present in information seeking of health messages, thus discovering the applicability of Risk Information Seeking and Processing (RISP) model’s propositions during pandemics. Using qualitative methods to assess RISP variables in a new context (COVID-19), the study proposes modifications to the existing model. It also extends the socio- psychological traditions on which the RISP model was based, by finding that when evaluating information sources during pandemics, under conditions of high issue relevance, individuals’ peripheral evaluation of messages might precede systematic evaluation and might be used as a selection criteria for further elaboration. Finally, the assessments of source credibility as a peripheral cue in this study expand current theoretical understandings by including compassion as a possible new dimension.