Risk Perception, Self-Efficacy, Trust in Government, and the Moderating Role of Perceived Social Media Content During the COVID-19 Pandemic


The public’s actions will likely have a significant effect on the course of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Human behavior is conditioned and shaped by information and people’s perceptions. This study investigated the impact of risk perception on trust in government and self-efficacy. It examined whether the use of social media helped people adopt preventive actions during the pandemic. To test this hypothesis, the researchers gathered data from 512 individuals (students and academics) based in Malaysia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results suggested that risk perception had a significant effect on trust in government and self-efficacy. Moreover, these correlations were stronger when social media was used as a source for gathering information on COVID-19. In some cases, it even helped users avoid exposure to the virus. This study assessed the relationship between risk perception and the awareness gained from using social media during the pandemic and highlighted how social media usage influences trust in government and self-efficacy.

Author Biographies

Mohmmed Salah Hassan, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Mohmmed Salah Hassan is a PhD candidate in the faculty of Economics and Administration at the University of Malaya–Malaysia. His research focuses on Street-Level Bureaucrats' Behavior, Regulation Enforcement, Risk Perception, and Trust in Government.

Hussam Al Halbusi, Dr., Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Dr. Hussam Al Halbusi is working in the Department of Management, College of Economics and Political Science, Hussam obtained his PhD (Management and Administration) at the University of Malaya (UM) under the Faculty of Business and Accountancy in 2020. His research interests lie in the areas of Strategic Management, Business Ethics, Leadership, Human Resources Management, Organizational Psychology, Organizational Sociology, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, SMEs, and Technology Adaption.

Ali Najem, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ali Najem is a PhD candidate in the faculty of engineering at the. His research focuses on risk perception and self-efficacy, Artificial intelligence, and control system.

Asbah Razali, Dr., University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dr. Asbah Razali is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology Faculty of Art and Social Sciences, University of Malaya with a specialization in Developmental Psychology. More specifically her work aims to address the areas such as drug abuse, drug rehabilitation, relapse and high-risk behaviour among adolescent. Her contribution to this field included research on drug abuse among women in rehabilitation centre and develop module for former drug addicts.

Fadi Abdel Muniem Abdel Fattah, Dr., A’Sharqiyah University, Ibra, Oman

Dr. Fadi Abdel Muniem Abdel Fattah currently is an Assistant Professor and Acting Dean of College of Business Administration (COBA), A’Sharqiyah University (ASU), Ibra. In the meantime, he has already published two books and several articles in different international journals. His research interests in Consumer Behavior, Service quality, Knowledge sharing.

Kent A. Williams, Dr., Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Dr. Kent A. Williams is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Management, Rowe School of Business. He holds a Doctor of Social Science, where his research and praxis focus on leadership studies that are underpinned by fairness, prosperity, and sustainability. The core values that lead him in his life are: courage, empathy, integrity, levity, respect, and wisdom. His “why he does what he does” is to co-inspire human potential. He espouses pedagogy of education as the practice of freedom – where he facilitates learning spaces that embrace failure, reflexivity, creativity, and critical & resilient thinking. He believes this approach enables positive desired futures for living in our rapidly changing world of complexity.


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How to Cite
Hassan, M., Al Halbusi, H., Najem, A., Razali, A., Abdel Fattah, F., & Williams, K. (2021). Risk Perception, Self-Efficacy, Trust in Government, and the Moderating Role of Perceived Social Media Content During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Changing Societies & Personalities, 5(1), 9–35. doi:10.15826/csp.2021.5.1.120