Nano Archive

Laypeople's and experts' perception of nanotechnology hazards

Siegrist, Michael and Keller, Carmen and Kastenholz, Hans and Frey, Silvia and Wiek, Arnim (2007) Laypeople's and experts' perception of nanotechnology hazards. RISK ANALYSIS, 27 (1). pp. 59-69.

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Public perception of nanotechnology may influence the realization of technological advances. Laypeople's (N = 375) and experts' (N = 46) perception of 20 different nanotechnology applications and three nonnanotechnology applications were examined. The psychometric paradigm was utilized and applications were described in short scenarios. Results showed that laypeople and experts assessed asbestos as much more risky than nanotechnology applications. Analyses of aggregated data suggested that perceived dreadfulness of applications and trust in governmental agencies are important factors in determining perceived risks. Similar results were observed for experts and laypeople, but the latter perceived greater risks than the former. Analyses of individual data showed that trust, perceived benefits, and general attitudes toward technology influenced the perceived risk of laypeople. In the expert sample, confidence in governmental agencies was an important predictor of risks associated with nanotechnology applications. Results suggest that public concerns about nanotechnology would diminish if measures were taken to enhance laypeople's trust in governmental agencies.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:nanotechnology; psychometric paradigm; risk perception; trust
Subjects:Social and Political Science > Societal and ethical aspects of nanotechnology
Social and Political Science > Policy developments with respect to nanotechnology
NanoSafety > Environment, health and safety aspects of nanotechnology
ID Code:763
Deposited By:Farnush Anwar
Deposited On:12 Dec 2008 16:50
Last Modified:12 Dec 2008 16:50

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