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RISK PERCEPTION AND COMMUNICATION

Baruch Fischhoff

Public health depends on laypeople's ability to understand the health–related choices that they and their societies face. The study of risk perception examines that ability. The study of risk communication examines the processes that determine how communication with laypeople enhances or degrades their decision–making ability. Although focused on decisions involving risk, that research necessarily considers potential benefits as well, including the benefits of reducing risks (e.g. through medical treatment, lifestyle changes or improved air quality). Communication is seen as a two–way process. Without listening to people, it is impossible to understand what they know and value, hence impossible ...

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