Information seeking in a risky world : the theoretical and empirical development of FRIS : a Framework of Risk Information Seeking

E.F.J. ter Huurne

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Communication regarding industrial hazards and the risks involved for humans and their assets is subject to major changes in contemporary society. Changing views on risk communication have recently triggered a new era of risk communication approaches that move beyond alerting or reassuring the public about potential hazards (Trettin & Musham, 2000; Leiss, 1996). This era involves stimulating interest in industrial risk issues, increasing public knowledge, and addressing the public’s beliefs, opinions and feelings towards potential hazards. Risk communication efforts should be aimed at assisting people in the acquisition of the information they need to make informed choices about the risks they face (Wade et al., 1992). The development of modern communication media, such as the online digital risk maps recently developed and launched in the Netherlands, provides the opportunity to make relevant risk information permanently available and accessible to the general public. Such information can be consulted by any member of the general Dutch audience who has access to the Internet. However, very little is known about what motivates the individual citizen to actually use such information supplies. These developments increase the need for a new theoretical framework aimed at understanding the individual citizen’s risk information-seeking behavior. The ultimate goal of this thesis is to develop such a model. This model, referred to as the Framework of Risk Information Seeking (FRIS), may provide a better understanding of public response to risks. It may also provide ways to persuade the public to utilize information provided on the Internet and other daily information sources. The FRIS is novel in its focus on the individual’s active role as a seeker of risk information and is applied here to external safety risks. The new perspective this model provides is important, as it may contribute to the development of more effective risk communication efforts with the general public.
Original languageUndefined
  • Seydel, E.R., Supervisor
  • Gutteling, Jan M., Supervisor
Place of PublicationEnschede, the Netherlands
Print ISBNs9789036526814
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2008


  • IR-59038

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