Link between trust in local authorities and lower levels of perceived risk
Higher trust in authorities lowers the level of perceived risk of both natural and nuclear disasters (Terpstra, 2010; Whitfield et al., 2009). Nevertheless, it has been shown that trust in authorities is a better predictor of risk when risk is related to nuclear hazards (Viklund, 2003). This finding has been explained by the fact that when risk is related to complex phenomena, people do not fully understand it, which makes them rely more on the perceived expertise of authorities (Viklund, 2003). Studies also showed that in the context of natural disasters, higher trust in authorities reduces the willingness of people to engage in individual protective measures (Grothmann & Reusswig, 2006; Terpstra, 2010).
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Cultural Factors: Attitudes toward authorities