Public Response to Uncertainty in Environmental Risk Estimates: Research Project Summary



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Trenton, N.J. : New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Science, Research and Technology


Scientists and officials often wish to publicize their estimates of environmental health risk, which always have some uncertainty. Risk communicators have urged uncertainty be part of the message. The research reported here is among the first to test public reactions to such messages. The few other studies done suggested public reactions could vary from greater risk aversion to no effect to greater acceptance of risks. The research summarized here explored reactions to numeric estimates of uncertainty, particularly in ranges of risk estimates. It included federally funded research for which Johnson and Slovic collected data mostly in Oregon, and research by Johnson with New Jersey data; results were similar and involved the same lead author, so both are reported here for a fuller explanation of public response to environmental risk uncertainties.



New Jersey, Health - Environmental aspects



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