Public preferences for informed choice under conditions of risk uncertainty: the need for effective risk communication

L.J. Frewer, S. Miles, M. Brennan, S. Kusenof, M. Ness, C. Ritson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has been assumed that the general public is unable to conceptualize
information about risk uncertainties, and so communication about food risk
has tended to avoid this type of information. However, recent societal and
political pressure to increase transparency in risk management practices will
result in the uncertainties inherent in risk analysis becoming subject to public
scrutiny. Best practice regarding risk communication must address how to
communicate risk uncertainty. A questionnaire was developed that aimed to
assess how the general public characterized uncertainty associated with food
risks. The results indicated that people wanted to be provided with information
about food risk uncertainty as soon as the uncertainty was identified. People
were more accepting of uncertainty associated with the scientific process of
risk management than they were of uncertainty due to lack of action or lack of
interest on the part of the government. The findings indicate that the focus of risk
communication should be on “what is being done to reduce the uncertainty.”
Recommendations are made regarding best practice for communicating risk
uncertainty
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-372
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Public preferences for informed choice under conditions of risk uncertainty: the need for effective risk communication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this