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: Jones, Brandon
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, Psychology, Social Science, Economics & Decision Making, Risk Assessment, deliberative policy, risk characterization, decision analysis, decision making, environmental decision making, information dissemination, risk communication, risk ranking, attribute based risk information, behavior reactions