Making sense of risk information amidst uncertainty: Individuals' perceived risks associated with the covid-19 pandemic

Kathleen H. Pine, Myeong Lee, Samantha A. Whitman, Yunan Chen, Kathryn Henne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

During a global pandemic such as COVID-19, laypeople bear a large burden of responsibility for assessing risks associated with COVID19 and taking action to manage risks in their everyday lives, yet epidemic-related information is characterized by uncertainty and ambiguity. People perceive risks based on partial, changing information.We draw on crisis informatics research to examine the multiple types of risk people perceive in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, the information sources that inform perceptions of COVID-19 risks, and the challenges that people have in getting the information they need to understand risks, using qualitative interviews with individuals across the USA. Participants describe multiple pandemic-related threats, including illness, secondary health conditions, economic, socio-behavioral, and institutional risks. We further uncover how people draw on multiple information sources from technological infrastructures, people, and spaces to inform the types of their risk perceptions, uncovering deep challenges to acquiring needed risk information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationMaking Waves, Combining Strengths
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380966
DOIs
StatePublished - May 6 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI 2021 - Virtual, Online, Japan
Duration: May 8 2021May 13 2021

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI 2021
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityVirtual, Online
Period5/8/215/13/21

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • Crisis informatics
  • Health information
  • Information seeking
  • Risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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