Volume 57, Number 1, January-March 2022
|Page(s)||17 - 25|
|Published online||12 October 2021|
The relationship between geographical region and perceptions of radiation risk after the Fukushima accident: The mediational role of knowledge
Department of Health Risk Communication, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine,
1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima City,
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 22 September 2021
Since the Fukushima accident, radiation risk perception has been of public concern. Factors related to regional differences in radiation risk perception and the role that knowledge of radiation effects plays are still not clearly understood. Here, we first assessed the validity of the Lindell radiation risk perception scale by comparing it with the mortality rate of traffic accidents. We then investigated the relationship between the perceptions and both the geographical regions and the knowledge of genetic effects and, further, verified the mediating role of knowledge in the perception. The sample comprised of 832 participants who responded to an online questionnaire in August 2018 from Tokyo and Fukushima. There was a significant association between the Lindell scale and the perceived magnitude of genetic risk relative to traffic accident mortality. Knowledge of genetic effects, after the atomic bombs, was associated with perceptions of lower genetic risks. The relationship between geographical region and risk perception was mediated by knowledge. However, approximately 40% of those who had knowledge still perceived a high risk, indicating that perception is not governed by knowledge alone. In addition to efforts to share knowledge, it is important to interactively communicate regarding risk to alleviate the anxiety felt by individuals.
Key words: accident / nuclear / radiation risk / social impact / risk communication
© SFRP, 2022
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