Societal Risk Perception in Arab Countries: The Case of Kuwait

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Abstract:

The study was aimed at examining data on risk perception from an Arab country—Kuwait—in order to support the existence of an Arab group as regards the way hazards are perceived. The data were gathered in 2003 and 2004 on two Kuwaiti samples of young adults and adolescents. The questionnaire used was the one used in studies conducted in Egypt and France. It comprised 141 items. The overall mean value observed in the Kuwaiti sample was close to the one found in the Egyptian sample. The linear association between Kuwaiti and French ratings was moderate (0.70) and of the same magnitude as the one found between Egyptian and French ratings. The association between Kuwaiti and Egyptian ratings was greater (0.90). In 80% of the hazards, the specific differences observed between the Kuwaiti and French ratings were the same as the ones observed between Egyptian and French ratings. The whole set of findings supports the hypothesis that Kuwaitis and Egyptians, despite huge differences in the socioeconomic environments in which they live, perceive societal risks in a common way, a way that is different from the way Western Europeans perceive them.

Keywords: Kuwait; Middle East; media coverage; societal risk perception

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10807030802494634

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait 2: Institute for Advanced Studies (EPHE), Plaisance-du-Touch, France

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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