This study investigates the amplification effect of the Internet on Chinese people’s air pollution risk perception. Analyses are based on data collected from a sample of Internet users in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou (N = 328). This study assumes that the characteristics of online information ‒ availability of information and affect in information ‒ will significantly contribute to the increase in air pollution risk perception. Results of path analysis indicated marginal significance of the effect of information availability on air pollution risk perception. Regarding the influence of affect in information, results showed that information including appeals to affect significantly increased perceived risk of air pollution; meanwhile, it also functioned as a moderator that significantly increased the strength of the causal relationship between information availability and risk perception. Findings of this study suggest that strategies for appropriately amplifying risk perception such as using heuristics may contribute to promoting public awareness of risks as well as encouraging public participation in the social effort to tackle risks.
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