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The Scandinavian way of perceiving societal risks

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Risk perception in Finland was studied in order to investigate the possible existence of a specific, Scandinavian risk perception group. The sample consisted of 120 Finnish students aged 20-35. The results previously observed in Norway and Sweden were replicated. Not only Norwegians, Swedes, and Finns; but also Americans, Brazilians, Burkinabè, French, Hong Konguese, Italians, Macanese, and Portuguese; tended to express the same concerns (strong linear correlations between ratings), though not to the same extent (important differences in mean ratings). This result strengthens the hypothesis that risk communication by the media in the three Scandinavian countries shapes public risk perception in a different way than in other countries. Alternative theories are also examined.

Keywords: Finland; perception; risk

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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