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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The goal of risk communication is to provide information about risks and uncertainties in a way that enables people to make the best decisions, based on their own values. Various factors influence the success of risk communication. This chapter first highlights risk communication methods and formats that determine successful risk communication. For example, laypeople do not understand all presentation formats of numbers equally well, and risk comparisons help them improve their evaluation of risk information. It also introduces the influence of heuristics, trust, and cultural values for decisions under uncertainty conditions. In the case of controversial topics, heuristics and trust influence how people interpret uncertainties. Research suggests that most people depend on experts with whom they share salient values in a given context. Based on the available evidence, the chapter provides some recommendations for communicating uncertainties at the end of the chapter and further describe some avenues for research.

Keywords: risk communication, uncertainty, risk comparison, heuristics, trust, cultural values

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