Rationality of 17 cities' public perception of sars and predictive model of psychological behavior

Kan SHI, Jiafang LU, Hongxia FAN, Jianming JIA, Zhaoli SONG, Wendong LI, Jing GAO, Xuefeng CHEN, Weipeng HU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study investigated the feature of Chinese peoples’ perception of SARS by surveying a stratified sample of 4231 people from 17 cities in China, and primarily proposed a risk perception centered predictive model of psychological behavior in crisis. The results indicated that, negative SARS-related information, especially information of personal interest, will arouse people’s risk perception of high level, and lead to irrational nervousness or scare; but positive SARS-related information, including recovery information and that with measures taken by government, can decrease the level of risk perception. In the middle of May, people felt the highest level of risk on the SARS pathogens; the following are the physical health condition and infectivity after recovering from SARS; they are factors that need special attention. SEM result analyses supported our hypotheses in that SARS-related information affect people’s coping behavior and mental health through their risk perception, the four indices of risk assessment, feeling of nervousness, coping behavior and mental health are effective presentimental indices for public psychological behavior in risky events. Copyright © 2003 Science in China Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1303
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003



Shi, K., Lu, J. F., Fan, H. X., Jia, J. M., Song, Z. L., Li, W, . . . Hu, W. P. (2004). Rationality of 17 cities' public perception of SARS and predictive model of psychological behavior. Chinese Science Bulletin, 48(13), 1297-1303. doi: 10.1007/BF03184166


  • SARS
  • Rationality
  • Risk perception
  • Risk communication
  • Predictive model