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Did they get it?: Examining the goals of risk communication within the Seveso II directive in a Swedish context
Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.
2004 (English)In: Journal of Risk Research, ISSN 1366-9877, E-ISSN 1466-4461, Vol. 7, no 5, p. 495-506Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, the success of a risk communication programme conducted in two municipalities in Sweden is evaluated. The communication efforts were initiated in order to comply with the Seveso II Directive, passed as a national law in July 1999. Data from two different questionnaires are used. Between the distribution of the two questionnaires, an information campaign took place in the communities. The first questionnaire was aimed at measuring the public's opinion and understanding of the risks related to chemical industries in their communities, as well as the public's knowledge of emergency behaviour in the event of an accident. The second was aimed at measuring the effects or impact of the risk communication programme on the public. A total of 346 respondents participated in the study by answering two questionnaires. An evaluation of the risk communication efforts was focused around three dimensions: comprehension, audience evaluation and communication failures. The results showed differences between the two campaigns that gave significantly different results in the two communities. In the community with the multimedia channel campaign, the respondents showed greater knowledge of the production process at the local industry, they also judged the health threats for that industry to be less after the campaign, and they saved the information material to a greater extent. However, the overall effects of the information campaigns were weak. Future research is needed to explore the relation between people's emergency behaviour and risk communication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 7, no 5, p. 495-506
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3188DOI: 10.1080/1366987031000074195OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-3188DiVA, id: diva2:137275
Available from: 2004-09-14 Created: 2004-09-14 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Talking to me?: Risk communication to a diverse public
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Talking to me?: Risk communication to a diverse public
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on the process of communication of environmental risks. A basic assumption in this thesis is that even though ambitious risk communication efforts can take place, the intended recipients are left with a feeling of alienation: Talking to me? The thesis presents a review of theories developed in the field of risk communication research and theories concerning risk perception. Results in this thesis are based on the findings in four papers. The first two papers report results from traditional risk communication strategies that have taken place in Sweden in accordance with the Seveso II Directive. The third paper looks at how industry and organizations view participatory strategies that include stakeholders in risk debates. The fourth paper attempts to fuse together placeidentity and risk perception in order to broaden the understanding of environmental conflicts.

The main results of this thesis can be summarized under three headings. First that there is no homogenous public in a risk communication context. Instead there seems to be a number of publics that differ in risk perception or have different environmental concerns. Second, strategies that tend to incorporate parts of the concerned public or stakeholders seem to work better than traditional risk communication efforts. Third, if discussion about risk are to be fruitful, the concept of risk needs to be broadened to include concerns that are not directly or apparently linked to issues of health or safety. Instead concerns such as local culture or local attachment need to be included. The purpose of this thesis is to suggest methods for communicating about environmental risks in order to make the affected public feel: Yes, you are talking to me.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek, 2004. p. 78
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 4
Keywords
Psykologi, Risk communication, Risk perception, public participation, place-identity, psykologi
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-79 (URN)91-7668-409-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-10-05, P200, Prismahuset, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-09-14 Created: 2004-09-14 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Wester-Herber, Misse

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