The role of social networks in the formation of risk perceptions about low dose radiation risks
Funding:  Subcontract from Decision Research, Eugene OR
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Project Summary

SERI is working as a sub-contractor to Decision Research in Oregon.  The project conducts basic research in the areas of risk perception and decision making and their application to risk communication. The work specifically applies to policy regarding low dose and low dose rate radiation exposure. The work is organized around the considerable existing knowledge base in social science that is relevant to devising an effective role for risk communication. We conduct two case studies into the problems and capabilities now facing risk communication about low dose exposures. Risk controversies can be seen as based upon individual and group perceptions and judgments, modified or amplified by the societal context, and reaching an acute stage in the designated decision processes. We examine the social-psychological research on risk and risk perceptions. Then we examine the knowledge base on the social, cultural, economic, and political context of risk controversies with particular attention to the conceptual work on the social amplification of risk.

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