Geoboo Song

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Department of Political Science

Department of Political Science
University of Arkansas, Old Main 437
Fayetteville, AR
USA
72701
gbsong@uark.edu |  Visit Personal Website


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Song

My general research interests lie in the systemic explanation of the variations in individuals' perceptions of policy problems, their policy preferences and their behaviors under certain policy arrangements within highly contentious and controversial domains. More specifically, I have been intrigued by the ontological and epistemological nature of the inherent risks posed by the implementation of science and technology, the different ways individual members of society interpret and perceive benefits and risks, and the related impact on society in general and certain individuals and groups in particular.

Citation:
Geoboo Song. 2014. "Understanding Public Perceptions of Benefits and Risks of Childhood Vaccinations in the United States," Risk Analysis 34 (3): 541-555.
Abstract: In the face of a growing public health concern accompanying the reemerging threat of preventable diseases, this research seeks mainly to explain variations in the perceived benefits and risks of vaccinations among the general public in the United States. As Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky's grid-group cultural theory of risk perception claims, the analytical results based upon original data from a nationwide Internet survey of 1,213 American adults conducted in 2010 suggest that individuals’ cultural predispositions contribute to the formation of their perceptions pertaining to vaccine benefits and risks at both societal and individual levels, in conjunction with other factors suggested by previous risk perception literature, such as perceived prevalence of diseases, trust, knowledge level, and demographic characteristics. Those with a strong hierarch orientation tend to envision greater benefits and lesser risks and conceive of a relatively high ratio of benefit to risk when compared to other cultural types. By contrast, those with a strong fatalist tendency are inclined to emphasize risks and downplay benefits while conceiving of a low vaccination benefit-risk ratio. Situated between hierarchs and fatalists, strong egalitarians are prone to perceive greater benefits, smaller risks, and a more positive benefit-risk ratio than strong individualists.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/risa.12114/abstract
Citation:
Michael D. Jones and Geoboo Song. 2014. "Making Sense of Climate Change: How Story Frames Shape Cognition" Political Psychology 35(4): 447-476.
Abstract: In 2006, Adam J. Berinsky and Donald R. Kinder published findings in the Journal of Politics that demonstrated that framing news as a story influences how individuals cognitively organize concepts and information. The study presented here moves forward in this tradition. This research combines samples obtained in the springs of 2009 and 2010 while conducting online experiments. In these experiments, slightly over 2,000 respondents are asked to organize concepts presented in one of three culturally nuanced stories about climate change or where information is presented as a list. Hierarchical cluster analysis indicates that when respondents are exposed to culturally congruent stories, respondent organizational patterns are more likely to mirror the story. We discuss the implications of these findings.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pops.12057/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false
Citation:
Joseph T. Ripberger, Geoboo Song, Matthew C. Nowlin, Michael D. Jones and Hank C. Jenkins-Smith. 2012. "Reconsidering the Relationship Between Cultural Theory, Political Ideology, and Political Knoweldge," Social Science Quarterly 93 (3): 713-731.
Abstract: Objective Social scientists from a variety of disciplines have employed concepts drawn from cultural theory (CT) to explain preferences across an array of issues. Recent research has challenged key elements of CT in a number of ways, perhaps most importantly by arguing that cultural types are simply another formulation of political ideology, and that only politically knowledgeable respondents reliably utilize either cultural or ideological categories in formulating preferences. This study reconsiders and expands upon this contention. Methods Principal component analyses of responses to a U.S. national survey of 4,387 people. Results Our findings are threefold: (1) people with low levels of political knowledge are able to sort egalitarianism and individualism into coherent worldviews; (2) people with high levels of knowledge do not collapse egalitarianism and individualism onto a single scale of political ideology; and (3) regardless of levels of knowledge, survey respondents are able to recognize all four of the value orientations proposed by CT. Conclusion CT, which is related to but different than political ideology, offers a robust system of worldviews that both high- and low-knowledge individuals might draw upon to formulate opinions and make decisions.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2012.00884.x/abstract

Substantive Focus:
Energy and Natural Resource Policy SECONDARY
Environmental Policy
Governance
Health Policy
Science and Technology Policy PRIMARY
Comparative Public Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory PRIMARY
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation
Policy Analysis and Evaluation SECONDARY
Public Opinion

Keywords

THEORIES OF INDIVIDUAL LEVEL POLICY BEHAVIOR PUBLIC OPINION POLICY ANALYSIS POLICY PROCESS THEORY POLITICS OF RISKS RISK MANAGEMENT HEALTH POLICY ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY NUCLEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT VACCINE CONTROVERSY GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY ENERGY POLICY