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Published April 17, 2020
Professor Janet Yang was recently featured on tbs eFM This Morning radio podcast out of Seoul, South Korea talking about the relationship between altruism and risk communication.
Dr. Yang is an expert on communication of risk information related to science health and environmental issues. In the thirteen-minute segment, the host of podcast conversed with Dr. Yang about how people are dealing with the recent pandemic of the novel coronavirus.
They also covered how Dr. Yang studied people’s behaviors during Ebola. With the coronavirus occurring widely in the United States, Dr. Yang has the opportunity to get very personal with her research. In fact, Dr. Yang has received funds from numerous organizations to study public communication during coronavirus. In 2014 when Ebola was prevalent, Dr. Yang was able to study how numerous media platforms and news programs covered the outbreak in West Africa. Being that there were only a few confirmed Ebola cases in the states, media and news covered the outbreak but didn’t position it as important. This caused public panic and upheaval due to people’s risk communication and altruistic behavioral intention according to Dr. Yang’s research.
Coronavirus is a different animal than Ebola was. People have a completely different outlook on it because of where it might have originated. In the podcast Dr. Yang shares behaviors of two types of people: there are selfish people who are negligent and reckless, and there are people that want to figure out how to get rid of the virus. Along with this division comes individualistic thinking. In order to make a correct step forward in solving this pandemic, Dr. Yang argues that COVID-19’s message needs to be transparent.
Listen to the full episode here.