Satisfaction with information about ionising radiation: a comparative study in Belgium and France

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Abstract

In recent decades efforts have been made to meet societal expectations concerning public access to information and to enable citizens’ informed decision-making related to ionising radiation risks. But are people satisfied with the information provided and which factors influence this? This paper investigates lay persons’ satisfaction with the information about ionising radiation provided by different communicators in Belgium and France. In particular, it studies the potential influence of risk perception, confidence in authorities, knowledge and education. The study is based on data originating from large scale public opinion surveys (N = 1002 in Belgium; N = 966 in France). Results show that the two countries differ as regards satisfaction with the information provided by specific communicators. Confidence in authorities was revealed in both countries as more important for satisfaction with information than risk perception. Contrary to expectations, general knowledge about ionising radiation had limited or no explanatory power. An additional study for the Belgian sample showed that both perceived trustworthiness and technical competence influence satisfaction with information, but their relative importance depends on the communicator.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S122-S142
JournalJournal of Radiological Protection
Volume36
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • public communication, risk perception, confidence, trust, knowledge, ionising radiation information

ID: 1566060