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Risk Perception The fundamental dilemma of health risk communication  The risks that kill people and the risks that alarm people are completely different.

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Presentation on theme: "Risk Perception The fundamental dilemma of health risk communication  The risks that kill people and the risks that alarm people are completely different."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Risk Perception

3 The fundamental dilemma of health risk communication  The risks that kill people and the risks that alarm people are completely different Covello y Sandman, 2001.

4 Theory of humanist psychology Maslow’s hierarchy of needs 1. Physiological needs 2. Safety needs 3. Psychological needs 4. Self-esteem needs 5. Self-actualization needs

5 Risk = Hazard + Outrage (values) Covello y Sandman, 2001.

6 To understand Risk Perception, we must answer the following questions: 1.What kind of individuals is the public made up of? 2.What factors determine risk perceptions and attitudes? 3.How are risk perceptions and attitudes manifested? 4.What can be done to soften attitudes regarding the risk?

7 Elements that influence the community’s risk perception  How true is the risk?  What is the absolute risk?  Are you really at risk?  What is obtained in exchange for the risk?  Can you do anything about the risk?

8 Characteristics of the hazard that have an influence on Risk Perception Acceptable Risks:  Voluntary  Under your control  Clearly beneficial  Fairly distributed  Natural  Statistical  From a reliable source  Familiar  Those that affect adults Fischhoff, et al., 1981 Unacceptable risks:  Involuntary  Controlled by others  Of little or no benefit  Unfairly distributed  Man-made  Catastrophic  From unknown sources  Unfamiliar, exotic  Those that affect children

9 Source:Canadian Food Inspection Agency

10 Voluntary Risk Involuntary Risk

11 Outrage factors and Risk Perception  Comprehension  Uncertainty  Delayed effects  Effects on children  Effects on future generations  Dread

12  Trust  Attention of the mass media  Reversibility  Ethical and moral nature  Man-made versus natural origin Covello y Sandman, Outrage factors and Risk Perception (Continued)

13 Risk assessment is influenced by the bias of the perception  Availability bias: Judging probability by how easily the events can be brought to mind  Anchor bias: Assessments influenced by the event  Optimistic bias: Belief that one is running a slighter risk than the population at large (“that’s not going to happen to me”)

14 Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

15 Dimensions of trust Commitment Competence Care Openness and honesty

16 What determines Risk Perception?  Individual level in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs  Individual and social values  Culture  Experiences

17  Level of education  Outrage factors  Who the person is and how he/she is affected  Level of control over the event What determines Risk Perception? (Continued)

18 Perception is isreality


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