Journal of Behavioral Decision Making

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Volume 5 Issue 2 (April/June 1992), Pages fmi-fmi, 77-153

Cognitive components in risk perception: Natural versus manmade risks (pages 117-132)


In a questionnaire study 106 Norwegian students rated natural and manmade hazards according to risk magnitude and public versus private responsibility for risk management. Another group of 50 subjects judged 36 natural hazards on nine risk dimensions used in previous psychometric studies of ‘manmade risks’. When ratings on nine risk characteristics for natural hazards were factor analyzed a three‐dimensional solution was found, with one active/passive dimension, one potency dimension, and one novelty dimension. This contrasts with the two‐dimensional solution found for manmade hazards. Responsibility for risk management was found to be related to the type of risk in focus, and different risk characteristics seem to play different roles for manmade and natural hazards.

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