Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    We will mail you new results for this query: keywords==risk perception
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Extrapolating understanding of food risk perceptions to emerging food safety cases
Kaptan, Gülbanu ; Fischer, Arnout R.H. ; Frewer, Lynn J. - \ 2018
Journal of Risk Research 21 (2018)8. - ISSN 1366-9877 - p. 996 - 1018.
benefit perception - Food risk - risk communication, food safety - risk perception

Important determinants of risk perceptions associated with foods are the extent to which the potential hazards are perceived to have technological or naturally occurring origins, together with the acute vs. chronic dimension in which the potential hazard is presented (acute or chronic). This study presents a case study analysis based on an extensive literature review examining how these hazard characteristics affect people’s risk and benefit perceptions, and associated attitudes and behaviors. The cases include E. coli incidences (outbreaks linked to fresh spinach and fenugreek sprouts), contamination of fish by environmental pollutants, (organochlorine contaminants in farmed salmon), radioactive contamination of food following a nuclear accident (the Fukushima accident in Japan), and GM salmon destined for the human food chain. The analysis of the cases over the acute vs. chronic dimension suggests that longitudinal quantification of the relationship between risk perceptions and impacts is important for both acute and chronic food safety, but this has infrequently been applied to chronic hazards. Technologies applied to food production tend to potentially be associated with higher levels of risk perception, linked to perceptions that the risk is unnatural. However, for some risks (e.g. those involving biological irreversibility), moral or ethical concerns may be more important determinants of consumer responses than risk or benefit perceptions. (Lack of) trust has been highlighted in all of the cases suggesting transparent and honest risk–benefit communications following the occurrence of a food safety incident. Implications for optimizing associated risk communication strategies, additional research linking risk perception, and other quantitative measures, including comparisons in time and space, are suggested.

Framing ‘fracking’ : Exploring public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom
Williams, Laurence ; Macnaghten, Philip ; Davies, Richard ; Curtis, Sarah - \ 2017
Public Understanding of Science 26 (2017)1. - ISSN 0963-6625 - p. 89 - 104.
fracking - framing risk - lay expertise - participation in science policy - public engagement - risk perception - shale gas
The prospect of fracking in the United Kingdom has been accompanied by significant public unease. We outline how the policy debate is being framed by UK institutional actors, finding evidence of a dominant discourse in which the policy approach is defined through a deficit model of public understanding of science and in which a technical approach to feasibility and safety is deemed as sufficient grounds for good policymaking. Deploying a deliberative focus group methodology with lay publics across different sites in the north of England, we find that these institutional framings are poorly aligned with participants’ responses. We find that unease regularly overflows the focus on safety and feasibility and cannot be satisfactorily explained by a lack of understanding on the part of participants. We find that scholarship from science and technology studies productively elucidates our participants’ largely sceptical positions, and orientates strategies for responding to them more effectively.
Comparing groups of Brazilian cattle farmers with different levels of intention to use improved natural grassland
Rossi Borges, J.A. ; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M. - \ 2015
Livestock Science 178 (2015). - ISSN 1871-1413 - p. 296 - 305.
planned behavior - conservation practices - dairy farmers - water conservation - risk perception - adoption - management - decisions - attitudes - technologies
This study used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to analyze the intention of Brazilian farmers to use improved natural grassland. The TPB hypothesizes that the adoption of an innovation is driven by the intention to use it, which in turn is determined by three socio-psychological constructs: attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. These constructs are derived from beliefs. The theoretical framework and model were applied to a sample of 214 Brazilian cattle farmers. Based on the socio-psychological constructs that influence intention, two groups of farmers were identified; farmers that were willing and farmers that were unwilling to use improved natural grassland. Results showed that compared to unwilling farmers, willing farmers evaluated the use of improved natural grassland on their farms more favorably (attitude), they felt a greater social pressure upon them to adopt this innovation (social norm), and they reported a higher capability (perceived behavioral control) to use improved natural grassland. Willing and unwilling farmers also differed in their behavioral beliefs concerning the outcomes of using improved natural grassland, their normative beliefs concerning important others, and their control beliefs concerning factors that could facilitate or inhibit the use of improved natural grassland. The two groups did not differ in most of their socioeconomic characteristics, but did differ in their goals and relative risk attitudes.
Nuclear power in China after Fukushima: understanding public knowledge, attitudes, and trust
He, G. ; Mol, A.P.J. ; Zhang, L. ; Lu, Y. - \ 2014
Journal of Risk Research 17 (2014)4. - ISSN 1366-9877 - p. 435 - 451.
environmental information disclosure - risk perception - climate-change - radioactive-waste - plants - uk
To meet the increasing demand for energy, the past decade has seen the revitalization of nuclear power technologies and many countries adopting nuclear power as a priority strategy in their energy policy. However, Japan’s Fukushima nuclear crisis, following the tsunami on 11 March 2011, challenged perceptions of much of the world’s nuclear power industry – but not in China. To explain how the future of nuclear power is decided in China, this study aims to understand the role of the public in the decision-making through exploring the current public knowledge of and trust in nuclear power, about which there is limited research compared to other environmental issues. Based on a questionnaire survey in Shandong province, this study concluded that, compared to many other countries with nuclear power, China had a different landscape of nuclear power information, knowledge, and trust. This paper helps to explain why the Chinese government is able to continue the development of nuclear power, without much public debate and participation.
The value of cultural theory for participatory processes in natural resource management
Hoogstra, M.A. ; Permadi, D.B. ; Yasmi, Y. - \ 2012
Forest Policy and Economics 20 (2012)July. - ISSN 1389-9341 - p. 99 - 106.
grid-group theory - risk perception - climate-change - public-participation - forest management - framework - systems - design - policy - power
Participation is viewed as an important means for promoting the sustainable management of natural resources. However, participation is not always successful. Conflicting values and power inequalities are all factors that can severely undermine participatory processes. Where so far the main focus of research has been on power imbalances and conflicting interests, this article focuses on another source of conflict, i.e. differing views of reality and underlying cultural biases. Research states that cultural theory (CT), which subdivides the divergent notions of reality into four worldviews (hierarchism, individualism, egalitarianism, fatalism), could be a useful tool to gain insight in conflicting views of reality and the consequences of these conflicting views for participatory processes. To investigate the value of CT for participation, a study in Java (Indonesia) was carried out to determine to what extent worldviews can be used to predict preferred strategies in forestry problems. The results show that an empirical identification of worldviews was possible. These worldviews however do not automatically explain how individuals address forestry problems. This might be because of the difficulty of measuring worldviews in relation to individuals' strategies. It might also be that CT's explanatory capacity is overestimated. In either case, we can conclude that CT the way it is used now is not the instrument that will help us solving the problems in participatory processes.
Does fish origin matter to European consumers? Insights from a consumer survey in Belgium, Norway and Spain
Vanhonacker, F. ; Altintzoglou, T. ; Luten, J.B. ; Verbeke, W. - \ 2011
British Food Journal 113 (2011)4. - ISSN 0007-070X - p. 535 - 549.
risk perception - food choice - wild fish - information - consumption - technologies - translation - involvement - aquaculture - countries
Purpose – This study aims to gain insights into the relevance and market potential of fish origin (farmed or wild) among consumers in Belgium, Norway and Spain. Design/methodology/approach – Cross-sectional data were collected through a consumer survey (n=1,319), conducted in November-December 2007 in three European countries: Belgium, Norway and Spain. The study describes personal and food characteristics, as well as consumer attitudes and knowledge related to fish origin. Further, these characteristics were analysed in terms of their impact on the choice of either farmed or wild fish, using bivariate analyses. Findings – In general, European consumers have little knowledge or awareness regarding the origin of fish. This results in uncertainty in consumers' perception of farmed fish in particular. The study is in line with previous ones suggesting that perceptions of aquaculture and farmed fish are based more on emotions than on rational considerations. Still, the perception of farmed fish is positive in general. Consumers do not prioritise fish origin as an information cue, although variation is present between different consumer groups. Consumers of predominantly farmed versus wild fish did not have a very distinct profile, which corroborates with the only modest significance of fish origin as a product-specific information cue during the fish purchase and consumption decision process. Originality/value – The strength of the paper pertains to its international scope, and to the diversity of countries selected in terms of relevant variables. Also, the growing relevance of aquaculture as a fish production method and farmed fish as a food product makes results and findings of the study topical and of practical relevance.
Societal response to nanotechnology: converging technologies–converging societal response research?
Ronteltap, A. ; Fischer, A.R.H. ; Tobi, H. - \ 2011
Journal of Nanoparticle Research : an Interdisciplinary Forum for Nanoscale Science and Technology 13 (2011)10. - ISSN 1388-0764 - p. 4399 - 4410.
emerging technologies - oversight assessment - public perception - risk perception - acceptance - model - trust - future - governance - engagement
Nanotechnology is an emerging technology particularly vulnerable to societal unrest, which may hinder its further development. With the increasing convergence of several technological domains in the field of nanotechnology, so too could convergence of social science methods help to anticipate societal response. This paper systematically reviews the current state of convergence in societal response research by first sketching the predominant approaches to previous new technologies, followed by an analysis of current research into societal response to nanotechnology. A set of 107 papers on previous new technologies shows that rational actor models have played an important role in the study of societal response to technology, in particular in the field of information technology and the geographic region of Asia. Biotechnology and nuclear power have, in contrast, more often been investigated through risk perception and other affective determinants, particularly in Europe and the USA. A set of 42 papers on societal response to nanotechnology shows similarities to research in biotechnology, as it also builds on affective variables such as risk perception. Although there is a tendency to extend the rational models with affective variables, convergence in social science approaches to response to new technologies still has a long way to go. The challenge for researchers of societal response to technologies is to converge to some shared principles by taking up the best parts from the rational actor models dominant in information technology, whilst integrating non-rational constructs from biotechnology research. The introduction of nanotechnology gives a unique opportunity to do so.
Understanding Consumer Confidence in the Safety of Food: Its Two-Dimensional Structure and Determinants
Jonge, J. de; Trijp, J.C.M. van; Renes, R.J. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2007
Risk Analysis 27 (2007)3. - ISSN 0272-4332 - p. 729 - 740.
mad-cow-disease - genetically-modified food - risk perception - social trust - fresh meat - risk/benefit perception - public perceptions - perceived risk - information - hazards
Understanding of the determinants of consumer confidence in the safety of food is important if effective risk management and communication are to be developed. In the research reported here, we attempt to understand the roles of consumer trust in actors in the food chain and regulators, consumer recall of food safety incidents, consumer perceptions regarding the safety of particular product groups, personality characteristics, and sociodemographics, as potential determinants of consumer confidence in the safety of food. Consumer confidence in the safety of food was conceptualized as consisting of two distinct dimensions, namely, "optimism" and "pessimism." On the basis of a representative sample of 657 Dutch consumers, structural equation modeling was applied to simultaneously estimate the effect of the determinants on both "optimism" and "pessimism." The results indicated that, to a considerable extent, both optimism and pessimism about the safety of food arise from consumer trust in regulators and actors in the food chain and the perceived safety of meat and fish rather than other product categories. In addition, support was found for the notion that optimism and pessimism are conceptually distinct, as these dimensions of confidence were partly influenced by different determinants. The results of this study imply that consumer confidence in the safety of food could be enhanced by improving both consumer trust in societal actors, and consumer safety perceptions of particular product groups.
Consumer acceptance of technology-based food innovations: Lessons for the future of nutrigenomics
Ronteltap, A. ; Trijp, J.C.M. van; Renes, R.J. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2007
Appetite 49 (2007)1. - ISSN 0195-6663 - p. 1 - 17.
genetically-modified foods - functional foods - information-technology - gene technology - gm food - processing technologies - perceived usefulness - user acceptance - risk perception - self-service
Determinants of consumer adoption of innovations have been studied from different angles and from the perspectives of various disciplines. In the food area, the literature is dominated by a focus on consumer concern. This paper reviews previous research into acceptance of technology-based innovation from both inside and outside the food domain, extracts key learnings from this literature and integrates them into a new conceptual framework for consumer acceptance of technology-based food innovations. The framework distinguishes `distal¿ and `proximal¿ determinants of acceptance. Distal factors (characteristics of the innovation, the consumer and the social system) influence consumers¿ intention to accept an innovation through proximal factors (perceived cost/benefit considerations, perceptions of risk and uncertainty, social norm and perceived behavioural control). The framework's application as a tool to anticipate consumer reaction to future innovations is illustrated for an actual technology-based innovation in food science, nutrigenomics (the interaction between nutrition and human genetics).
Societal issues and public attitudes towards genetically modified foods
Frewer, L.J. - \ 2003
Trends in Food Science and Technology 14 (2003)5-8. - ISSN 0924-2244 - p. 319 - 332.
gene technology - risk perception - chemical risks - decision-making - trust - information - biotechnology - uncertainty - policy - participation
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