A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Understanding the impact of information sources on COVID-19 related preventive measures in Finland

Open Access hybrid publication

Publication Details
Authors: Farooq Ali, Laato Samuli, Islam A.K.M. Najmul, Isoaho Jouni
Publisher: Elsevier: 24 months
Publication year: 2021
Language: English
Related journal or series: Technology in Society
Volume number: 65
ISSN: 0160-791X
JUFO level of this publication: 1
Open Access: Open Access hybrid publication


The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the influence of information reporting on human behavior, as people were forced to quickly adapt to a new health threatening situation by relying on new information. Drawing from protection-motivation and cognitive load theories, we formulated a structural model eliciting the impact of the three online information sources: (1) social media, (2) official websites, and (3) other online news sources; on motivation to adopt recommended COVID-19 preventive measures. The model was tested with the data collected from university employees and students (n = 225) in March 2020 through an online survey and analyzed using partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). We observed that social media and other online news sources increased information overload amongst the online information sources. This, in turn, negatively affected individuals' self-isolation intention by increasing perceived response costs and decreasing response efficacy. The study highlights the role of online information sources on preventive behaviors during pandemics.

Last updated on 2021-18-06 at 07:57