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Risk assessment, risk values and the social science programme: why we do need risk perception research

Pidgeon, Nicholas Frank ORCID: 1998. Risk assessment, risk values and the social science programme: why we do need risk perception research. Reliability Engineering & System Safety 59 (1) , pp. 5-15. 10.1016/S0951-8320(97)00114-2

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The paper poses the question of whether the findings from social science research on risk perception could (or indeed should) find direct application in the domains of risk regulation and management. The problem this poses, of balancing and integrating the best available scientific judgements and evidence on the one hand with aspects of public risk evaluations on the other, is one of the most difficult questions to be faced by democratic governments and their regulators today. The paper argues that the findings from risk perception research do hold implications for the ways in which risk analysis and regulation should be done. Current social science research on risk perceptions is discussed together with existing UK regulatory policy, which allows, to a certain extent, contextual issues to be factored into risk tolerability decision making. The paper concludes by presenting a set of arguments both for and against the use of risk perceptions in policy. Brief conclusions are drawn regarding the conditions under which public preferences and values might be optimally elicited.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0951-8320
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 08:47

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