Personality and motivation in an augmented PRISM : risk information seeking in the context of the indoor environment
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This dissertation augmented Kahlor’s (2010) planned risk information seeking model (PRISM). According to the PRISM, people’s intentions to seek risk information hinge on their attitudes toward seeking, seeking-related subjective norms, perceived control over seeking, affective response to the perceived risk, and information need. As well, this dissertation examined the role of self-identity as an information seeker, independent self-construal, past risk information seeking, involvement, and motivation orientation in people’s intention to seek risk information about radon and poor indoor air quality. In a pilot study of a convenience sample (N = 59), I derived an information-seeking self-identity scale and a novel instrument for measuring information need. The main study of a national probability sample (N = 602) evaluated the proposed structural model, tested several hypotheses, and explored several research questions. Both the pilot and main study gathered data via online surveys. Results supported the proposed model (R2 = .62) and several hypotheses. Notably, information-seeking self-identity and past risk information seeking positively predicted seeking intention. Also, the effects of attitudes and norms on seeking intention were stronger among more independent respondents. Finally, in a series of multiple regression analyses, I detailed the roles of involvement and various motivation orientations in each model component. An unexpected finding was that perceived control over seeking did not significantly predict seeking intention. Post-hoc analysis revealed that the strength of the control-intention relationship was—at least with the current sample—inversely related to socioeconomic status (SES), where at higher levels of SES, the importance of perceived control over seeking diminished.