The Effect of Information Materials on Risk Rankings

EPA Grant Number: U915166
Title: The Effect of Information Materials on Risk Rankings
Investigators: Morgan, Kara M.
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: January 1, 1997 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Risk Communication , Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration


The objective of this research project is to learn about how lay participants incorporate narrative risk information, attribute-based risk information, and personal experience into risk-ranking judgments.


Rankings are collected from participants using one of four different types of information materials. The four types of information materials are: (1) narrative-only; (2) table-only; (3) narrative and table; and (4) summary sheet, which contains narrative, and table, and three additional sections of text providing more detailed information about the risk. A within-condition comparison uses the average pair-wise correlation between the rankings within condition will be calculated to assess consistency, that is (i.e., how similar the rankings are across these participants). A bootstrap method is used to generate a distribution of differences in correlations to determine if the differences between the levels of agreement using the different information materials are significant. For between-condition analysis, one average ranking is produced to represent each condition, and these rankings are compared.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, risk ranking, risk-ranking judgements, correlations, between-condition analysis., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, decision-making, Social Science, Economics & Decision Making, Psychology, Risk Assessment, deliberative policy, risk characterization, decision analysis, environmental decision making, decision making, information dissemination, risk ranking, risk communication, attribute based risk information, environmental risk assessment

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • 1998
  • Final