An Examination of the Relationships Among Uncertainty, Appraisal, and Information-Seeking Behavior Proposed in Uncertainty Management Theory

Stephen A. Rains, Riva Tukachinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Uncertainty management theory (UMT; Brashers, 2001, 2007) is rooted in the assumption that, as opposed to being inherently negative, health-related uncertainty is appraised for its meaning. Appraisals influence subsequent behaviors intended to manage uncertainty, such as information seeking. This study explores the connections among uncertainty, appraisal, and information-seeking behavior proposed in UMT. A laboratory study was conducted in which participants (N = 157) were primed to feel and desire more or less uncertainty about skin cancer and were given the opportunity to search for skin cancer information using the World Wide Web. The results show that desired uncertainty level predicted appraisal intensity, and appraisal intensity predicted information-seeking depth—although the latter relationship was in the opposite direction of what was expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-349
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Communication
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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