Principal Investigator(s): Slovic, Paul, Decision Research
The Sociopolitical Determinants of Perceived Risk project is an extensive national survey designed to assess the influence of sociopolitical constructs on perceived risk. This research project designed an extensive survey instrument to assess the influence of sociopolitical constructs on perceived risk. The survey was administered to 1,204 randomly selected adults by telephone between September, 1997 and February, 1998. Minority groups (African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American persons) were oversampled. This national survey revealed that men rate a wide range of hazards as lower in risk than women and that whites rate risks lower than non-whites. Non-white females often gave the highest risk ratings. The group with the consistently lowest risk perceptions across a range of hazards was white males. A few exceptions were found: compared with white males, Asian males gave lower risk ratings to six items. Compared with the rest of the sample, white males were more sympathetic with hierarchical, individualistic, and anti-egalitarian views, more trusting of technology managers, less trusting of government, and less sensitive to potential stigmatization of communities from hazards. Although the data showed that white males stood apart from others, the data also revealed substantial heterogeneity in risk perceptions among the race and gender groups that comprised the 'other' category. That is, risk perceptions varied considerably across African-Americans, Asian, and Hispanic males and females. The heterogeneity implies that risk perceptions depend importantly on characteristics of the individuals facing the risk. The sociopolitical constructions included power, control influence, alienation, social class, trust and worldviews. Demographic information pertaining to race, gender, age, education and income was also obtained.
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the restrictions note to learn more.
Public and restricted versions of the data are included in this collection. Due to the sensitive nature of the restricted data, users will need to complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement before they can obtain the restricted version. These forms can be accessed on the download page associated with this dataset
Slovic, Paul. Sociopolitical Determinants of Perceived Risk, 1998. ICPSR34637-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-11-06. doi:10.3886/ICPSR34637.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34637.v1
This study was funded by:
- National Science Foundation (9631635)
Scope of Study
Smallest Geographic Unit: United States (national survey)
Geographic Coverage: United States
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: individual
Universe: United States households with phones, with oversampling of non-white households.
Data Types: survey data
Data Collection Notes:
The original identification number was replaced by a sequential record identifier to protect respondent confidentiality.
The restricted use data contains qualitative data administrated on a split sample basis where respondents only answered one of the following topics: blood transfusion, eating beef, and cloning.
Study Purpose: This study was designed to assess the influence of sociopolitical constructs on perceived risk.
Study Design: The survey was administered to 1,204 randomly selected adults by telephone between September 1997, and February 1998. Minority groups (African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American persons) were oversampled.
Sample: Random selection of United States households with phones. Please refer to the "Appendix: Summary of Survey Methodology" in the codebook for more information.
Weight: Weighting the ethnic groups back to their respective proportion in the United States population as a whole, results in a weighted sample size of 861. See the Summary of Survey Methodology file in the user guide.
Mode of Data Collection: telephone interview
Response Rates: Response rate ranged by day and race/ethnic groups between 32.5 percent and 54.4 percent. See the Summary of Survey Methodology file in user guide.
- Performed consistency checks.
- Standardized missing values.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2013-11-06
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