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Polarization in the reaction to health-risk information: a question of social position?

Lindbladh, Eva LU and Lyttkens, Carl Hampus LU (2003) In Risk Analysis: an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis 23(4). p.841-855
Abstract
Dissemination of risk information is ubiquitous in contemporary society. We explore how individuals react in everyday life to health-risk information, based on what they report in personal interviews. Health-risk information was without exception recognized as unstable and inconsistent. This conformity, however, did not extend to the narratives regarding how health-risk information should be handled. Two opposite positions (ideal-typical strategies) are presented. Either you tend to process and evaluate new information or you tend to ignore it as a whole. Our attempt to reveal the underlying rationality in these two very different approaches involved the exploration of three different avenues of interpretation and brings together two... (More)
Dissemination of risk information is ubiquitous in contemporary society. We explore how individuals react in everyday life to health-risk information, based on what they report in personal interviews. Health-risk information was without exception recognized as unstable and inconsistent. This conformity, however, did not extend to the narratives regarding how health-risk information should be handled. Two opposite positions (ideal-typical strategies) are presented. Either you tend to process and evaluate new information or you tend to ignore it as a whole. Our attempt to reveal the underlying rationality in these two very different approaches involved the exploration of three different avenues of interpretation and brings together two scientific paradigms—economics and sociology—that provide the framework for our analysis. First, we suggest that a greater long-term experience of explicit choice implies that this kind of action becomes more natural and less resource consuming, whereas a reliance on habits in daily life—a natural adjustment to a lack of resources—makes it is more costly to bother about new information. Second, with fewer resources in the short run, fewer opportunities to mitigate bad outcomes, and greater exposure to social and material risks, one is less likely to devote resources to deal with health-risk information. Third, there are several possible links between a low propensity to take account of risk information and a high relative importance of genuine uncertainty in one's life. These theoretical perspectives provide a viable set of hypotheses regarding mechanisms that may contribute to social differences in the response to health-risk information. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Risk, information, health, uncertainty, social position
in
Risk Analysis: an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis
volume
23
issue
4
pages
841 - 855
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • wos:000184536000019
  • pmid:12926576
  • scopus:0042164854
ISSN
1539-6924
DOI
10.1111/1539-6924.00361
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5ea8e418-2ffe-4452-b533-3dc1d31d88bf (old id 117257)
date added to LUP
2007-07-24 13:40:39
date last changed
2017-01-01 07:13:42
@article{5ea8e418-2ffe-4452-b533-3dc1d31d88bf,
  abstract     = {Dissemination of risk information is ubiquitous in contemporary society. We explore how individuals react in everyday life to health-risk information, based on what they report in personal interviews. Health-risk information was without exception recognized as unstable and inconsistent. This conformity, however, did not extend to the narratives regarding how health-risk information should be handled. Two opposite positions (ideal-typical strategies) are presented. Either you tend to process and evaluate new information or you tend to ignore it as a whole. Our attempt to reveal the underlying rationality in these two very different approaches involved the exploration of three different avenues of interpretation and brings together two scientific paradigms—economics and sociology—that provide the framework for our analysis. First, we suggest that a greater long-term experience of explicit choice implies that this kind of action becomes more natural and less resource consuming, whereas a reliance on habits in daily life—a natural adjustment to a lack of resources—makes it is more costly to bother about new information. Second, with fewer resources in the short run, fewer opportunities to mitigate bad outcomes, and greater exposure to social and material risks, one is less likely to devote resources to deal with health-risk information. Third, there are several possible links between a low propensity to take account of risk information and a high relative importance of genuine uncertainty in one's life. These theoretical perspectives provide a viable set of hypotheses regarding mechanisms that may contribute to social differences in the response to health-risk information.},
  author       = {Lindbladh, Eva and Lyttkens, Carl Hampus},
  issn         = {1539-6924},
  keyword      = {Risk,information,health,uncertainty,social position},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {841--855},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Risk Analysis:  an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis},
  title        = {Polarization in the reaction to health-risk information: a question of social position?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1539-6924.00361},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2003},
}