Bringing appraisal theory to environmental risk perception: a review of conceptual approaches of the past 40 years and suggestions for future research

Carmen Keller, Ann Bostrom, M. Kuttschreuter, Lucia Savadori, Alexia Spence, Mathew White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


An intensive program of 40 years of research has produced various conceptual cognitive and affective approaches to environmental risk perception. In this short review of the most relevant conceptual approaches, appraisal theory is presented as a useful means of integrating cognitive and affective approaches to risk perception. Appraisal theory offers an opportunity to advance our understanding of how environmental risk perception operates in an emotion-specific manner and enables identification of new research directions. Although within other conceptual approaches there are still open research questions, the potential for examining environmental risk perception within appraisal theory has not yet been fully explored. Reviewing current appraisal theoretical models, seven research questions are suggested to structure future research on environmental risk perception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-256
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of risk research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • IR-82867
  • METIS-281803

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