Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2017

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Risk Communication at Home and the Workplace

Room: Salon 2   8:30 am–10:00 am

Chair(s): Robyn Wilson

Sponsored by Risk Communication Specialty Group

W1-K.1  8:30 am  Barriers to Private Well and Septic Management in Under-Served Communities: An Analysis of Homeowner Decision Making. Fizer C*, MacDonald-Gibson J, Bruine de Bruin W; University of North Carolina

Abstract: Some African-American communities in the American South are excluded from nearby municipal water and sewer services and therefore rely on private wells and septic systems. These communities are disproportionately exposed to water contaminants and have an elevated risk for poor health outcomes. Outreach efforts encouraging proper well testing and maintenance are needed to protect health in these communities. To identify knowledge gaps and misconceptions that such outreach programs should target, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 18 residents of such communities in Wake County, North Carolina. Only one interviewee tested and inspected their well annually as recommended by the county health department. Interview results suggest that testing is inhibited by lack of awareness of well maintenance guidelines, over-reliance on sensory information, poor understanding of exposure pathways, and cost. Links between private septic systems, well water contamination, and health are poorly understood, hindering proper septic maintenance. These findings highlight the need for risk communication materials targeting at-risk communities.

W1-K.2  8:50 am  New Mental Modeling TechnologyTM Adds Capability to Risk Reducing and Life Saving Risk Communication. Vink D*; Crossroad Communications Inc.

Abstract: When risk reduction requires a change in behaviour, mental modeling techniques are the tools of choice. That’s what the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) of Ontario decided when they needed an effective risk communication strategy to address homeowners’ information needs to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) in the home. They needed a risk communications strategy that reinforced what homeowners already knew to be correct, informed what they didn’t currently know or misunderstood, and emphasized what they needed to know. The strategy needed to be driven by insight into homeowners’ values, priorities, and information needs, rather than by guesswork or unilateral decision-making. The mental modeling approach provided the TSSA with a research-based risk communication strategy that could be used to improve homeowner awareness of CO safety in the home in order to save lives from a silent killer. While this case study had good impact, and improved on the risk communications that had been planned before adopting the mental modeling approach, if we could repeat the project today using the new Mental Modeling TechnologyTM & Platform, we could have improved: • Precise and common understanding of the problems and the value of solving them • Data collection and analysis using the CASS software • Literature reviews using cost-effective cCASS text recognition • Expert modeling made more efficient and dynamic • Analysis and recommendations for risk communications customized for each of the stakeholders, not just TSSA. Using a two-track visualization, this case study reviews the approach originally taken, and compares how the new technology can improve the process and increase the value of the outcomes.

W1-K.3  9:10 am  Linking heuristic-systematic processing to adoption of behavior. Yang S*; University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstract: This study sets out to draw connections among key components within three conceptual models: the Risk Information Seeking and Processing model, the Heuristic-Systematic Model, and the Theory of Planned Behavior. Specifically, it proposes and tests the theoretical linkages among heuristic and systematic information processing, depth of processing, attitude stability, and behavioral intention. Archival data drawn from a panel survey that concerns health risks from drinking municipal tap water are used for theory testing. Findings reveal that systematic processing is positively related to number of strongly held behavioral beliefs, strength of belief outcome evaluations, and strength of cognitive structure—all indicate depth of processing, and that heuristic processing is negatively related to all three measures. Cognitive structure and attitude toward the behavior appear to be consistent in direction and strength. Attitude toward the behavior, subjective norms, and alternative behavior are positively related to behavioral intention. An anticipated positive relationship between perceived behavioral control and behavioral intention was not found. Finally, theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

W1-K.4  9:30 am  Effects of using indoor air quality sensors on perceptions and behaviors: Pittsburgh empowerment lending library study. Wong-Parodi G*, Dias B, Taylor M; Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract: Air quality affects us all and is a rapidly growing concern in the 21st century. We spend the majority of our lives indoors, and can be exposed to a number of pollutants smaller than 2.5 microns resulting in detrimental health effects. Indoor air quality sensors have the potential to provide people with the information that they need to understand their risk, and take steps to reduce their exposure. In a two-part study, we assess baseline views and behaviors related to indoor air pollution among the general public (n=212) in Pittsburgh, PA recruited online and at local public libraries. We then evaluate the effect of using an indoor air quality sensor on people’s views and behaviors (n=25) after checking out and using a sensor for up to three weeks in their homes. We find that the general public feels knowledgeable but uncertain about their indoor air pollution, want to know more, and prefer using a device that is freely available. Sensor users learned more about indoor air quality, seemingly took steps to reduce their risk from what they learned, and shared their experience with others. Thoughtfully designed and deployed personal sensing devices can help empower people to take steps to reduce their risk.

W1-K.5  9:50 am  Exploring Concepts of Risk and Safety in a University Setting through PhotoVoice. Jardine CG*, Cooper A; University of the Fraser Valley, University of Alberta

Abstract: Universities recognize their responsibility to promote health, safety, protection of the environment, and regulatory compliance in the context of their diverse activities and environments. Many universities have operationalized risk management and safety through the formation of formal units and dedicated staff. However, concepts of risk and safety can have many interpretations which are seldom explicitly examined and discussed. The Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) unit in Risk Management Services at the University of Alberta was interested in exploring how faculty and staff understand the concepts of safety and risk on campus as a means of starting a discussion on current perspectives, activities and opportunities for improvement. To make the project engaging and promote critical thought, the research was done using PhotoVoice. This method involves asking people to take photos on a specific theme with the goals of: (1) enabling people to reflect upon and record issues in their environments; (2) promoting critical dialogue and enhancing knowledge about issues through discussions of the photographs; and (3) taking action. Participants were drawn from members of the various EHS committees and safety leaders at the university. They were asked to take pictures in two areas: 1) what does safety mean to you?; and 2) what does risk mean to you? Participants then completed a short form answering the following: (1) why did you take this picture (i.e. what about this picture specifically represents (safety or risk) to you)?; and (2) what does this picture mean to you (i.e. is it a strength? Is it a problem? What could be done about this issue)? Representative pictures and descriptions were subsequently presented at an internal ‘EHS mini-conference’, generating active discussions and opportunities for enhanced actions and services. Both the PhotoVoice thematic results and the results of the ensuing dialogue will be presented.

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