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November 2021

The methodology of risk perception research

Journal/Book: Qual Quant. 2000; 34: Spuiboulevard 50, PO Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publ. 407-418.

Abstract: Risk perception is not strictly a matter of sensory perception, but of attitudes and expectations. As such, it can be studied by reasonably well developed methods of attitude measurement and psychological scaling. Such measurement needs to be applied in a pragmatic fashion, however, since the discussions of fundamental measurement and requirements of scale levels appropriate for various types of statistical analysis has failed in establishing a useful basis for empirical research. The paper also discuses sampling procedures and the response rate problem. In risk perception work, there is usually a bias involving too many respondents with an above average level of education, but that variable tends to be weakly related to risk perception variables. Finally, post-modern claims and their rejection of quantitative methods are critically discussed.

Note: Article Sjoberg L, Stockholm Sch Econ, Ctr Risk Res, Box 6501, S-11383 Stockholm, SWEDEN

Keyword(s): risk perception; research methods; measurement; attitudes; CHERNOBYL ACCIDENT; WORRY


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