Judgments of Personal and Environmental Risks of Consumer Products--Do they Differ?

Schuetz, H. & Wiedemann, P. M. (1998). Judgments of personal and environmental risks of consumer products--Do they differ?. Risk Analysis, 18, 1, 119-129.

Investigates personal and environmental risk judgments for 30 consumer products of various types. A survey was conducted in two German cities: Leipzig and West Berlin. In total, 408 Ss evaluated the consumer products with regard to personal and environmental risk (and other risk-related aspects) and whether they would recommend the product to others. The findings show statistically significant differences between the mean values of perceived personal risk and environmental risk for most products. Despite these differences, the rank order of mean personal risk and environmental risk judgments for the products is quite similar. However, correlations between perceived personal and environmental risk vary strongly across products. Multiple regression analyses with personal and environmental risk judgments as predictors and product recommendation as criterion, run separately for each consumer product, show that it is mainly the judgment of perceived personal risk that explains product recommendation. The study also explores differences in judgments of personal and environmental risk with regard to two sociodemographic variables: location (former East Germany vs. West Germany) and gender. Differences in both types of risk judgments are found with regard to location but not for gender.

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