The purposes of the current study were twofold: (1) to investigate affective and cognitive responses and social-contextual factors related to Ebola and their intercorrelations in a developed country without widespread Ebola transmission; and (2) to examine the relationships among risk perception of Ebola, levels of knowledge about Ebola, and (blatant and subtle) prejudice toward African immigrants. Between January 2015 and March 2015, an anonymous cross-sectional survey was conducted among a convenience sample of 486 Italian adults. Results showed that most participants were not particularly concerned about Ebola and did not feel at risk of acquiring the virus. Cognitive dimensions of risk perception of Ebola (i.e., perceived severity of illness, perceived personal impact, perceived coping efficacy, and likelihood of infection), affective response (or worry) to Ebola, and social-contextual factors (i.e., perceived preparedness of institutions, family members' and friends' levels of worry) were interrelated. Prejudice toward African immigrants was positively related to risk perception of Ebola and negatively related to levels of knowledge about Ebola even when controlling for sociodemographic variables including political preference.
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