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Using a Situational Q-Sort to Assess Perceptions of a Food Recall Message as a Function of Delivery via Social, Organizational or Traditional Media



Behavior in response to a crisis will result from a combination of individual and situational variables. In spite of the increased recognition of the importance of situational variables, a literature and methodological toolkit for the study of situational influences that is comparable with those available for individual variables has not yet emerged. However, the recently developed Riverside Situational Q-sort provides a novel method for quantifying subjective impressions of any situation. This proof-of-concept demonstration asked participants to complete the RSQ in response to an imaginary food crisis situation communicated via one of three message sources (social media, organizational website and traditional media). Results illustrate the potential of this method to provide quantitative evaluations of subjective responses to crisis situations.