Basic Research

Risk Perception and Communication

For publications and additional information on specific areas of focus, click on the following links:

Affect and Emotion in Risk
Our research builds upon recent work in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive and social psychology to develop and test an affect-based theory of judgment and decision making.

Cigarette Smoking
Our research investigates the public's knowledge and perceptions of cigarette smoking risks, and includes studies on adolescents and on the effects of cigarette warning labels.

Interpretive Communities of Risk
Our research is part of a broad program to understand the sociocultural dynamics of risk perception, decision making, and behavior.

Intuitive Toxicology
Expert and lay people's views of chemicals differ based on underlying assumptions and values.

Numeracy and Literacy
Our research examines the effect of varying levels of number ability (numeracy) and literacy on judgment and decision making.

Psychometrics of Risk
"Risk" means different things to different people - whereas experts' judgments of risk correlate highly with fatalities, lay people's judgment is more complex and considers other hazards (e.g., catastrophic potential). This has implications for risk communication and risk management.

Risk Communication
Risk-communication work can reveal and refine the motives of public messages, provide useful decision structures leading to more thoughtful and informed choices, and increase public acceptance of decision processes. Appropriate risk communication, informed by risk perception, is a powerful aid to better individual decision making, which in turn improves risk-management choices.

Social Amplification
Information processes, institutional structures, social-group behavior, and individual responses shape the social experience of risk.

PI Links
Anthony Leiserowitz
Robin Gregory
Sarah Lichtenstein
Robert Mauro
Ellen Peters
Paul Slovic
Daniel Västfjäll
Josh Weller

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