Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Beat the Heat: Content Analysis of Message Appeals in Heat Risk Communication

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2019

College

S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources

Department

Environment and Society Department

Faculty Mentor

Peter D. Howe

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Extreme heat events are a leading cause of weather-related mortality in the U.S., and heat-related mobility significantly threatens people's well-being. Communication messages designed to protect people from the harmful effects of extreme heat events are highly recommended by health experts, but do such messages really work to reduce risk among the general public? To date, little is known about how heat-related messages are constructed and to what extent such messages influence people's attitudes and behaviors. This paper content-analyzes communication messages about heat risks posted on social media by local National Weather Service (NWS) accounts to investigate what message appeals are used to attract the public's attention and how the public responds to these messages. A stratified account sample is based on the geographic units, heat risk perceptions, self-reported health impacts of heat, and heat-related fatalities within weather forecast areas. The paper examines the differences in message appeal type and frequency by sampling strata, as well as by time series and by popularity of posts. The results provide insights into geographic variations in message appeals in heat risk communication, and will also inform future research to experimentally test the public's response to different types of message appeals.

Location

Room 154

Start Date

4-13-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

4-13-2017 10:15 AM

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Apr 13th, 9:00 AM Apr 13th, 10:15 AM

Beat the Heat: Content Analysis of Message Appeals in Heat Risk Communication

Room 154

Extreme heat events are a leading cause of weather-related mortality in the U.S., and heat-related mobility significantly threatens people's well-being. Communication messages designed to protect people from the harmful effects of extreme heat events are highly recommended by health experts, but do such messages really work to reduce risk among the general public? To date, little is known about how heat-related messages are constructed and to what extent such messages influence people's attitudes and behaviors. This paper content-analyzes communication messages about heat risks posted on social media by local National Weather Service (NWS) accounts to investigate what message appeals are used to attract the public's attention and how the public responds to these messages. A stratified account sample is based on the geographic units, heat risk perceptions, self-reported health impacts of heat, and heat-related fatalities within weather forecast areas. The paper examines the differences in message appeal type and frequency by sampling strata, as well as by time series and by popularity of posts. The results provide insights into geographic variations in message appeals in heat risk communication, and will also inform future research to experimentally test the public's response to different types of message appeals.