Japanese Journal of Risk Analysis, 1997, 8(2), 187-192.
LAY JUDGMENT OF THE THRESHOLD OF HARMFUL SUBSTANCES AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO THE RISK PERCEPTION
OF SAFETY MESSAGES
This paper examines the relationship between lay judgments of the threshold in the dose-response relationship of food additives and the risk perception of safety messages. Two hundred and forty-four college students were asked (1) to judge whether the threshold was zero or higher than zero in the dose-response relationship of food additives, (2) to choose one of two hypothetical baby foods: one produced by a company advertising that it contained the lowest level of additives, and the other by another company advertising that it contained additives below the safety level established by the authorities and (3) to rate the credibility of the two companies. The results suggest that the risk perception of a safety message referring to the safety standard cannot be explained directly by the judgment of the threshold in the dose-response relationship. However, the judgment of the threshold seems to be related to the risk perception interacting with the perceived credibility.
KEY WORDS : Dose-response relationship, Safety regulation, Risk perception, Risk communication