An Investigation of Women’s and Men’s Perceptions and by Andrea Bieberstein

By Andrea Bieberstein

Concern approximately foodstuff hazards is frequent. shoppers, even if, are came upon to vary by way of how they overview those dangers. probably the most popular findings during this regard is the diversities among men and women. Many stories record that males are much less anxious approximately environmental and technological dangers than ladies, that's additionally the case for nutrients hazards. while it's criticized that those ameliorations are usually exaggerated, similarities ignored, and systematic investigations are missing. Andrea Bieberstein supplies a finished review of theoretical ways to probability notion and empirical paintings that has been carried out within the box of threat conception examine. additionally, she offers a scientific research of ways meals hazards are built for girls and males by way of uncovering the meanings when it comes to institutions, emotions, and values that they connect to varied foodstuff dangers. this permits a deeper figuring out of the gender ameliorations in hazard belief by way of their relevance and meaning.

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Extra info for An Investigation of Women’s and Men’s Perceptions and Meanings Associated with Food Risks

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Whereas stigmatization of technology might be a social phenomenon, people differ in their attitudes towards technology and science. This is found to be related to differences in attitudes towards diverse technologies and the perception of technological risks. The majority of the studies that investigate this relationship focused on perceptions of biotechnology or gene technology. According to Urban and Hoban (1997), negative views about technology did explain high levels of risk perceptions with regard to biotechnology.

In the following, the psychometric paradigm, the Cultural Theory approach and the two current approaches – the socio-psychological approach and the sociocultural approach – are presented. 1 The Psychometric Paradigm Apart from being able to give an explanation why some hazards are perceived as more risky than others, the psychometric paradigm also aimed at understanding differences in risk assessment between groups of individuals, in particular between lay persons and experts (Slovic, 1987). Research following the psychometric paradigm could show that people’s risk perception is a complex phenomenon that depends on a variety of non-technical factors.

For example, nuclear power or DNA technology is mostly assessed as high in ‘dread’ and low in ‘knowledge’. Furthermore, according to psychometric studies, ‘dread’ and ‘knowledge’ have been found to explain variances in people’s assessments of different risks. In other words, hazards that are perceived as entailing ‘high’ dread and being unknown are assessed as more risky with a stronger impact of the ‘dread’ factor compared to the ‘knowledge’ factor (Schütz, Wiedemann and Gray, 2000). 2 Affective Factors Influencing Risk Perception Alhakami and Slovic (1994) could show that risk and benefit are negatively correlated in people’s minds and that this is related to the overall feelings about the object in question.

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