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Previous Experiences and Risk Perception: The Role of Transference
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences. (RCR)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5355-4280
2017 (English)In: Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, ISSN 2456-981X, Vol. 23, no 1, 1-10 p., 35101Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: The aim of the article is to investigate how experiences of crisis such as accidents, illnesses, violence and natural catastrophes influence perceptions of risk in general. The questions this article poses are whether there are some experiences significant enough to change an individual’s perception not only of the kind of risk experienced but also of other kinds of risks and whether there are certain experiences that are particularly powerful.

Study Design, Place and Duration of Study:The analyses use data from two Swedish national

surveys, ‘Society and Values’, that took the form of mail polls conducted in the winters of 2005 and 2008. Both polls used questionnaires that focus on risk perception, risk communication, risk behavior, experience, and values. The dataset used each year is composed of two representative samples of the Swedish population.

Methodology: The samples consisted of people between the ages of 16 and 75: two national

random samples (n=2000 each) and two random samples of people living in areas with a relatively large population of people with foreign backgrounds (n=750 each). The total number of respondents was 1,472 in 2005 and 951 in 2008.

Results: The results show that previous experience is a strong predictor of higher risk perception even after controlling for gender, origin, income, education and values. Depending on previous experiences of certain hazards and crises, the individual’s perception of risks related to these experiences will vary.

Conclusion: This article has shown that different categories of experiences are powerful to

transfer the feeling of dislike or fear not only to the related risk but also to other kinds of risk. One example is, being the victim of violence increases the level of risk perceived not only for violence but for several lifestyle risks and known risks as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 23, no 1, 1-10 p., 35101
Keyword [en]
Previous experience; risk perception; survey results
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-32045DOI: 10.9734/JESBS/2017/35101OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-32045DiVA: diva2:1156442
Available from: 2017-11-13 Created: 2017-11-13 Last updated: 2017-11-13Bibliographically approved

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Öhman, Susanna
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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