Risk ranking by the British public: a survey of worry about a broad spectrum of risk issues.

Houghton, Julie R. and Murray, Elena and Ball, David J. (1999) Risk ranking by the British public: a survey of worry about a broad spectrum of risk issues. Human and ecological risk assessment: an international journal, 5 (3). pp. 509-526. ISSN 1080-7039

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Abstract

Much attention has focused on people's concerns about technological and environmental risks, but it is important to acknowledge that these are not the only risks that individuals have to face. In this article we present the results of a national survey ranking levels of worry across a broader spectrum of risk issues, including 'lifestyle', social welfare, financial and personal safety risks. A total of 1742 interviews were conducted, at home, among a nationally representative quota sample of adults age 15+ in Great Britain. Field work took place between January 24 to 27, 1997. Respondents' spontaneous mentions of worry centered on issues to do with health, education, and money. When prompted, respondents expressed most concern about a number of social issues, while certain 'lifestyle' factors identified as significant risks to health were accorded only low levels of worry. The survey demonstrates that risk issues that engage some expert attention do not always have the same immediacy for the general public. Thus, while technological and environmental risks certainly deserve attention, they should not overshadow consideration of other risks that have equal if not greater implications for people's lives.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Science and Technology
Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Science and Technology > Centre for Decision Analysis and Risk Management (DARM)
Citations on ISI Web of Science:4
ID Code:4993
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Deposited On:08 Apr 2010 06:08
Last Modified:08 Dec 2014 15:56

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