Link between religious beliefs and risk perception


Risk perception of natural and man-made hazards is influenced by different values and beliefs (Billing, 2006; Heine & Lehman, 1995; Prati & Zani, 2012; Whitfield et al., 2009). For example, a number of studies showed that stronger religious beliefs are related to a lower level of perceived risk (Billing, 2006; Chester et al., 2008; Sachdeva, 2016). This effect if often explained in terms of two aspects of religious beliefs. The first concerns the trust in Divine protection in dangerous situations, which makes people feel safer (Billing, 2006). The other aspect addresses the attitude of „fatalism“, i.e. a perception that people are powerless to avoid or protect themselves from hazard caused by Divine intervention, which makes them feel less in control (Paradise, 2015). Since people believe that Divine intervention is inevitable (good or bad) they often do not take precautionary measures, which makes them particularly vulnerable when faced with different hazards (Paradise, 2015).

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