Japanese Journal of Social Psychology
Online ISSN : 2189-1338
Print ISSN : 0916-1503
ISSN-L : 0916-1503
Risk perception and knowledge: The role of subjective and objective knowledge of electromagnetic field
Aya TakagiMegumi Komori
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2018 Volume 33 Issue 3 Pages 126-134


This study distinguished between subjective and objective knowledge of scientific technology whose influence on health is yet to be defined, and explored the effect of each type of knowledge on risk perception. A web-based survey among the Japanese population (N=1,110) was conducted. It assessed the subjective and objective knowledge of electromagnetic field (EMF), interest in EMF, risk perception, and trust on the related organizations. The results indicated that respondents’ objective knowledge about EMF was generally poor. Their subjective knowledge and objective knowledge were significantly correlated, but the strength of correlation was moderate. Multiple regression analysis yielded significant subjective×objective knowledge interaction on risk perception. While objective knowledge consistently attenuated risk perception, subjective knowledge boosted risk perception only when respondents’ objective knowledge level was low. The possibility of the potential influence of reputation of EMF on the boosted subjective knowledge about EMF was discussed.

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© 2018 The Japanese Society of Social Psychology
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