Audiovisual risk communication unravelled: effects on gut feelings and cognitive processes.

V.H.M. Visschers*, R.M. Meertens, W.F. Passchier, N.K. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Audiovisual material is increasingly applied in risk communication (e.g., information films on the Internet) to affect the public's risk perception. This study investigated how the sound/footage and text of videos can influence two processes of risk perception: a primary (associative) and a secondary (deliberate) evaluative process. Our main hypothesis was that the sound/footage of a video would particularly influence the primary evaluative process and its text would affect the secondary evaluative process. This was investigated using a two (text: yes/no) by two (sound/footage: yes/no) design. We applied an indirect test to measure the videos' effects on the primary evaluative process (the Extrinsic Affective Simon Task) and a direct test (questionnaire) to assess the effects on the secondary evaluative process. These two tests were applied immediately after the respondents had seen one of the videos and two weeks later. Text appeared to affect the self-reported risk perception (questionnaire) only at the first measurement. Sound/footage influenced risk perception as measured by the EAST merely at the second measurement. The results are discussed in light of the two risk perception processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-221
JournalJournal of Risk Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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