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What Drives Risk Perceptions? Revisiting Public Perceptions of Food Hazards Associated With Production and Consumption

Jenkins, S; Harris, AJL; Osman, M; (2021) What Drives Risk Perceptions? Revisiting Public Perceptions of Food Hazards Associated With Production and Consumption. Journal of Risk Research (In press).

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Abstract

As food technology continues to advance, the potential for new food products to enter the food market grows, attracting considerable media interest. Whilst previous research has explored public perceptions of food-related hazards, much of this took place over 10 years ago. Continued technological developments have yielded new food products, for which there is no extant research on public perceptions. In light of this, there is a pressing need to update and extend research exploring public perceptions of food-related hazards. Using a psychometric approach, a nationally representative UK sample (n= 907) provided ratings of 11 old and new food hazards on a total of 12 risk characteristics (identified from previous research). Principal components analysis identified two main components: ‘dread’ and ‘knowledge’, which explained 80.8% of the variance in perceptions, consistent with past findings. Additives were perceived as the least dreaded and most known of the hazards considered, whereas ractopamine pork, atrazine corn and hormone beef were dreaded the most. 3D printed food and lab-grown meat were perceived as the least known. Our results highlight the importance of knowledge in shaping risk perceptions and have implications for risk management. An understanding of the factors which determine risk perceptions is vital for the development of effective risk management and risk communication strategies.

Type: Article
Title: What Drives Risk Perceptions? Revisiting Public Perceptions of Food Hazards Associated With Production and Consumption
Publisher version: https://www.tandfonline.com/
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: food safety, food technologies, risk perception, psychometric paradigm
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10116794
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