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How Publics’ Active and Passive Communicative Behaviors Affect their Tornado Responses: An Integration of STOPS and SMCC


How Publics’ Active and Passive Communicative Behaviors Affect their Tornado Responses: An Integration of STOPS and SMCC

Abstract: 

During imminent threat crises, such as natural disasters, publics have minutes to decide how to respond after receiving a warning. This study advances understanding of publics’ crisis communicative and noncommunicative behaviors in the context of tornadoes through combining and extending two theories: the social-mediated crisis communication (SMCC) model and the situational theory of problem solving (STOPS). Findings from a survey of Southeast U.S. residents (n = 1,585) indicate that STOPS is internally consistent and accurate at measuring its intended outcomes of communicative action in problem solving. However, the STOPS measures do not have a significant relationship with the desirable outcome for imminent threat crisis communication: individuals following government’s protective action guidance about tornadoes. In comparison, the expanded SMCC model predicts individuals’ self-reported compliance. Finally, variables from the SMCC model and tornado-specific variables were integrated into the STOPS model to explain individuals’ communicative engagement. Implications for theory and public relations practice are discussed.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Liu, Brooke Fisher, Sifan Xu, JungKyu Rhys Lim, and Michael Egnoto. 2019. "How Publics’ Active and Passive Communicative Behaviors Affect their Tornado Responses: An Integration of STOPS and SMCC." Public Relations Review (August). https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0363811119300645

START Author(s): 
Brooke LiuMichael Egnoto
Publication URL: 
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