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:
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?
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?
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
Outrage factors and Risk Perception Comprehension Uncertainty Delayed effects Effects on children Effects on future generations Dread
Trust Attention of the mass media Reversibility Ethical and moral nature Man-made versus natural origin Covello y Sandman, 2001. Outrage factors and Risk Perception (Continued)
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”)