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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2188;

Impact of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident on Belief in Rumors: The Role of Risk Perception and Communication

Department of Public Administration, Ajou University, Worldcup-ro, Suwon 16499, Korea
Department of Public Administration, Seowon University, Musimseoro, Cheongju 28674, Chungbuk 361-742, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Rumors about nuclear power energy and its risks in terms of technology are common. However, these rumors are sometimes exaggerated and not true. Our research question is what factors and variables have influence the rumors related to the Fukushima nuclear accident. We analyzed data collected through social survey (n = 1572). To measure the dependent variable, we asked respondents whether rumors related to the Fukushima nuclear accident were true or false, and the degree to which they trusted such rumors. We measured three factors in determining belief in rumors: psychometric paradigm, communication, and risk perception. We then analyzed the direct impact of these three factors on belief in rumors and the indirect moderating effect of perceived risk of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the relationship between psychometric factors and belief in rumors. Results show that in the communication factors, source credibility decreases belief in rumors whereas usefulness of information and receiver’s ability increase it. All the psychometric variables have significant impacts on belief in rumors. Perceived benefit, trust, and knowledge decrease belief in rumors, and perceived risk and stigma increase it. Finally, the perceived risk of Fukushima accident plays a role of moderators between psychometric paradigm and belief in rumors. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fukushima accident; belief in rumor; risk perception Fukushima accident; belief in rumor; risk perception

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Kim, S.; Kim, S. Impact of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident on Belief in Rumors: The Role of Risk Perception and Communication. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2188.

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