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Third-Person Effects of Health News

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  • Third-Person Effects of Health News

    This study expands third-person effect research to health news coverage. It examines the perceptual and behavioral components of third-person effects. Moderator variables of third-person effects?knowledge and exposure to health news?are also examined. Using data from a survey of public opinion about the coverage of avian flu involving a probability sample of 1,107 college students in Taiwan, findings show that respondents tend to think the influence of avian flu news on others is greater than on themselves. Furthermore, exposure to avian flu news was found to narrow the self?other perceptual gap. Regarding the linkages between the third-person perception of avian news and behavioral responses to the perception, findings show that perceived effects of avian flu news on the self resulted in taking action?seeking information about avian flu and seeking out Tamiflu. However, findings further show that the third-person perception acted like a brake on taking such action.