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Growing pains: how risk perception and risk communication research can help to manage the challenges of global population growth

Growing pains: how risk perception and risk communication research can help to manage the challenges of global population growth
Growing pains: how risk perception and risk communication research can help to manage the challenges of global population growth
In 2011 the global human population reached seven billion and medium variant projections indicate that it will exceed nine billion before 2045. Theoretical and empirical perspectives suggest that this growth could lead to an increase in the likelihood of adverse events (e.g., food shortages, climate change, etc.) and/or the severity of adverse events (e.g., famines, natural disasters, etc.). Several scholars have posited that the size to which the global population grows and the extent to which this growth increases the likelihood of adverse outcomes will largely be shaped by individuals’ decisions (in households, organizations, Governments, etc.). In light of the strong relationship between perceived risk and decision behaviors, it is surprising that there remains a dearth of empirical research that specifically examines the perceived risks of population growth and how these perceptions might influence related decisions. In an attempt to motivate this important strand of research, this paper examines the major risks that may be exacerbated by global population growth and draws upon empirical work concerning the perception and communication of risk to identify potential directions for future research. The paper also considers how individuals might perceive both the risks and benefits of population growth and be helped to better understand and address the related issues. The answers to these questions could help humanity better manage the emerging consequences of its continuing success in increasing infant survival and adult longevity
decision making, population growth, risk communication, risk perception
0272-4332
1378-1390
Dawson, Ian G.J.
dff1b440-6c83-4354-92b6-04809460b01a
Johnson, J.E.V.
6d9f1a51-38a8-4011-a792-bfc82040fac4
Dawson, Ian G.J.
dff1b440-6c83-4354-92b6-04809460b01a
Johnson, J.E.V.
6d9f1a51-38a8-4011-a792-bfc82040fac4

Dawson, Ian G.J. and Johnson, J.E.V. (2014) Growing pains: how risk perception and risk communication research can help to manage the challenges of global population growth. Risk Analysis, 34 (8), 1378-1390. (doi:10.1111/risa.12180).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In 2011 the global human population reached seven billion and medium variant projections indicate that it will exceed nine billion before 2045. Theoretical and empirical perspectives suggest that this growth could lead to an increase in the likelihood of adverse events (e.g., food shortages, climate change, etc.) and/or the severity of adverse events (e.g., famines, natural disasters, etc.). Several scholars have posited that the size to which the global population grows and the extent to which this growth increases the likelihood of adverse outcomes will largely be shaped by individuals’ decisions (in households, organizations, Governments, etc.). In light of the strong relationship between perceived risk and decision behaviors, it is surprising that there remains a dearth of empirical research that specifically examines the perceived risks of population growth and how these perceptions might influence related decisions. In an attempt to motivate this important strand of research, this paper examines the major risks that may be exacerbated by global population growth and draws upon empirical work concerning the perception and communication of risk to identify potential directions for future research. The paper also considers how individuals might perceive both the risks and benefits of population growth and be helped to better understand and address the related issues. The answers to these questions could help humanity better manage the emerging consequences of its continuing success in increasing infant survival and adult longevity

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RA00206 - Growing Pains - Final Version.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 11 January 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 March 2014
Published date: August 2014
Keywords: decision making, population growth, risk communication, risk perception
Organisations: Centre of Excellence for International Banking, Finance & Accounting

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 362327
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/362327
ISSN: 0272-4332
PURE UUID: 84171af8-e555-4ff6-b036-f9630fb52630
ORCID for Ian G.J. Dawson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0555-9682

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Feb 2014 13:07
Last modified: 13 Nov 2021 02:49

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