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A Comparative Study Of The Role Of Interpersonal Communication, Traditional Media And Social Media In Pro-Environmental Behavior: A China-Based Study

Ruixia Han, J. Xu
Published 2020 · Psychology, Medicine

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Previous studies have confirmed that information exposure affects pro-environmental behavior. With the rise of social media, new questions emerge in terms of whether different types of information exposure affect pro-environmental behavior differently. Based on a survey of 550 people that was carried out in China, this study aims to compare the different roles of interpersonal communication, traditional media, and social media in affecting the relationships between people’s environmental risk perception, willingness to contribute to the environment, environmental knowledge, environmental concerns, and pro-environmental behavior. Our research discovered that: (1) traditional media has almost no effect on pro-environmental behavior; (2) interpersonal communication can affect pro-environmental behavior through significantly affecting environmental risk perception; (3) social media affects pro-environmental behavior mainly by strengthening the effects of interpersonal communication. The research reveals that while different types of information exposure affect pro-environmental behavior differently, interpersonal communication plays a central role. Concerning the mutual influence between social media and interpersonal communication, we propose that we could promote pro-environmental behavior by activating social media communication.
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