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Risk Communication: Instructional Principles

  • By: Deanna Sellnow & Timothy Sellnow
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Instructional risk communication focuses on explanations and directions for maintaining and improving health in high-risk and crisis situations. Because the outcome of effective instruction is learning, instructional risk communication is appropriately grounded in experiential learning theory as first described by educational philosopher John Dewey. To clarify, effectively designed and delivered instructional risk messages result in both accurate cognitive understanding and appropriate behavioral actions with regard to health-related risks. Instructional risk messages are unique in that they must be delivered quickly, clearly, and persuasively in order to motivate receivers to take the necessary steps to avoid an imminent health threat. For these reasons, instructional risk communication is central to the field of health communication.

Instructional Risk Messages

Examples of situations requiring rapid dissemination of instructional risk messages include ...

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