Methodological approaches to assessing risk perceptions associated with food-related hazards

Risk Anal. 1998 Feb;18(1):95-102. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.1998.tb00919.x.


The psychometric approach developed by Slovic and his co-workers has been effectively used to assess risk perceptions associated with different food-related hazards. However, further examination (using questionnaire data and partial correlation techniques) has indicated that technological hazards are highly differentiated from lifestyle hazards, in terms of both hazard control and knowledge about the hazard. Optimistic bias was also seen to vary between hazards. Further research has focused on a particular hazard, genetic engineering. Risk perceptions associated with genetic engineering are underpinned by ethical concern and questions relating to perceived need for the technology, as well as perceptions of risk or harm. However, increasing the specificity of hazard stimuli was found to alter the factor structure of underlying risk perceptions. The utility of preference mapping procedures in determining individual differences in trust in risk regulators is also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Food / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perception*
  • Public Opinion
  • Publishing
  • Risk*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Safety
  • United Kingdom