Testing the heuristic/systematic information-processing model (HSM) on the perception of risk after the Fukushima nuclear accidents
The accidents at the Fukushima nuclear stations provided a great deal of information about the risks from nuclear power accidents. It is generally assumed that when people interpret such information， they utilize specific modes of information processing to judge the risks. Our study tests the heuristic/systematic information-processing model (HSM) on people’s perceptions of the Fukushima accidents. Because very few studies apply the HSM in a real-life context rather than in an experimental setting， our study will shed light on whether the HSM can explain this social phenomenon. To test the two modes of information processing in risk judgment， we collected social survey data ( = 1200) through multiple-stage random quota sampling. The main topics for analysis were as follows： first， we examined how the antecedents – source， message， and receiver factors – influenced the choice of heuristic or systematic processing in the case of the Fukushima accident. Second， we analyzed the impact of the two modes of information processing on the perceived risks from the Fukushima accident. Third， we investigated the mediation of the two modes between the antecedents and the perceived risk.