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    Cognitive and Affective Routes to the Adoption of Protective Behaviors Against Health Risks of PM2.5 in China
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    Abstract
     


    The current research examines how risk appraisals of PM2.5 influence Chinese people’s behavioral intentions to adopt government-recommended protective behaviors through negative affect. In testing the appraisal-based protective behavior model, this research also takes institutional trust and media sensationalism into account. An online survey is conducted with participants (N = 1,569) randomly drawn from heavily polluted Chinese regions. As predicted, negative affect mediates the effects of perceived susceptibility and perceived severity on individuals’ intentions to take preventive measures against the PM2.5 risk. Institutional trust appears to increase people’s behavioral intentions. However, media sensationalism decreases people’s behavioral intentions.