Yi Mou, Carolyn A. Lin
This study examined the Chinese public’s use of Weibo (a microblog platform) and their cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses to a series of food safety crises. Based on a sample of 1,360 adult Weibo users across China, the study found that Weibo use contributed to cognitive and behavioral responses to food safety concerns, but access to other online and off-line news and information outlets was largely irrelevant. Emotional response toward the food safety incidents was a stronger predictor of both food safety risk perception and prevention action, relative to food safety incident awareness and factual awareness. Theoretical and social implications of study findings are discussed.