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Mosquitoes as a threat to humans and the community: The role of place identity, social norms, environmental concerns and ecocentric values in public risk perception
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6613-5974
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Environmental Sociology Section)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6735-0011
2017 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 22, no 2, 172-184 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a risk that climate change will cause an increase of mosquito populations in Europe. Due to their nuisance to humans, there are demands to combat mosquitoes, mainly through spraying. These interventions, however, are expensive and associated with uncertainties concerning effects on biodiversity. This poses a dilemma for policy-makers, which makes it important to gain knowledge on what people’s nuisance comprises. Thus, the aim of this study is to explore what factors are associated with this risk perception of mosquitoes. Theories about place identity, social norms, environmental concern and values were used to identify relevant factors. A questionnaire was distributed to 317 persons in a Swedish community where mosquitoes have increased radically. The items concerning risk perception fell out as a unidimensional scale in a principal component analysis and the internal consistency of the scale was good. Risk perception was positively related to place identity, descriptive social norms, and self-oriented environmental concern and negatively related to ecocentric values. The most important predictor was descriptive social norms, but the other factors and gender also contributed uniquely in explaining risk perception. Results are discussed in relation to the theory of social amplification of risks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2017. Vol. 22, no 2, 172-184 p.
Keyword [en]
Social amplification of risk, risk perception, values, environmental concern, biodiversity
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology) Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Psychology; Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-50329DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2016.1185097ISI: 000396619900003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84967268228OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-50329DiVA: diva2:928894
Note

Funding agency:

Gävleborg County Administrative Board

Available from: 2016-05-17 Created: 2016-05-17 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)Environmental Sciences

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