How to define and measure risk perceptions
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionWolff K, Larsen S, Øgaard T. How to define and measure risk perceptions. Annals of Tourism Research. 2019;79:102759 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2019.102759
Research on risk perceptions within the tourism domain suffers from two closely related problems: diverging conceptual and measurement definitions. The lack of precision and standardization is hindering comparisons of findings across studies as well as systematic accumulation of knowledge. The present paper gives some examples of how diverging definitions of risk may constitute a serious problem. It also shows how measures of perceived risk are influenced by various heuristics and biases via item wording. Lacking awareness of the effects of these biases may lead to erroneous conclusions regarding the relative risk of various hazards. The paper concludes with specific suggestions for how some of these problems can be tackled, and should be of practical use for tourism scholars researching risk perceptions.