The perception of authorities as more trustworthy is a predictor of lower levels of perceived nuclear risk


Previous studies have shown that trust is an important predictor of perceived risk when risk is related to more complex and unknown technologies, such as nuclear power (Siegrist, 2000; Siegrist & Cevtkovich, 2000). Namely, when people make risk judgments about phenomena they do not fully understand, they tend to rely on the perceived expertise of authorities in order to reduce the complexity and uncertainty of those phenomena (Viklund, 2003). In relation to that, previous studies demonstrated a negative correlation between trust in authorities and perceived nuclear risk the perception of authorities as more trustworthy is followed by a lower level of perceived nuclear risk (Biel & Dahlstrand, 1995; Flyn, Burns, Mertz, & Slovic, 1992).

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