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Social amplification of wildfire risk: The role of social interactions and information sources. Description Wildfire is a persistent and growing threat across much of the western United States.

The social amplification of risk

Understanding how people living in fire-prone areas perceive this threat is essential to the design of effective risk management policies. Drawing on the social amplification of risk framework, we develop a conceptual model of wildfire risk perceptions that incorporates the social processes that likely shape how individuals in fire-prone areas come to understand this risk, highlighting the role of information sources and social interactions.

We classify information sources as expert or nonexpert, and group social interactions according to two dimensions: formal versus informal, and generic versus fire-specific. Using survey data from two Colorado counties, we empirically examine how information sources and social interactions relate to the perceived probability and perceived consequences of a wildfire. Our results suggest that social amplification processes play a role in shaping how individuals in this area perceive wildfire risk.

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A key finding is that both "vertical" i. The specific objectives of the project are 1 to integrate different social responses to risk events into a coherent theory of risk amplification, and 2 to examine patterns of risk amplification across a diverse set of hazards and event scenarios, based on a detailed review of case studies.

3.1 Risk Perception

Despite the importance of integrative approaches to risk assessment, little research has been directed toward developing a systematic approach that takes into account the broader social and cultural implications of a risk event. This innovative project will both develop a theoretical basis for this integration and validate the approach using case studies.


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It is expected that the results of the study will contribute to the development of better understanding of why some risk events are amplified and others not, and provide risk analysts and decision makers with a more comprehensive basis for addressing difficult risk problems. Please report errors in award information by writing to: awardsearch nsf. Search Awards. Recent Awards. Presidential and Honorary Awards.

EconPapers: The Social Amplification of Risk: A Conceptual Framework

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