Credibility, information preferences, and information interests

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The Seveso Directive of the European Union demands that information be provided to the public by companies and authorities about facts, risks, and behaviors related to hazardous facilities, in particular chemical facilities. On behalf of the Commission of the European Communities, a survey was run in five European countries on the credibility of various information sources. This article describes the results of the German study. 430 persons were interviewed with a questionnaire of 50 items, in particular about their perceptions and evaluations of technical risks, the credibility of sources of information about chemical risks, their preferences for receiving risk information from these sources, and their interests in receiving information. Major findings are great differences in credibility, differentiated information preferences, and strong information interests. Surprisingly, credibility played only a minor role with regard to the respondents’information preferences and interests.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRisk Analysis
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)251-261
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.1996
Externally publishedYes