Docente: Melanie Connor
Course type: Master +2
Value in ECTS: 3
Academic year 2012/2013 - Fall semester
This course will give an introduction into the broad topic of risk: perception and communication.
The course will be divided into two main sections: 1. The perception of risk 2. How to communicate risk
To implement communication strategies it is important to know how humans perceive different kinds of risk.
Therefore, at the beginning of the course the students will gain insight into the topic of risk, how risk is defined and modelled. The course will start with an introduction about the approach of Starr (Starr, 1969). Furthermore, different models to understand human risk perception will be presented such as the Psychometric Paradigm (Fischhoff, Slovic, Lichtenstein, Read, & Combs, 1978), implementations (P. Slovic, 1987; P. Slovic, Fischhoff, & Lichtenstein, 1980; P. Slovic, Fischhoff, & Lichtenstein, 1986; P. Slovic, 1992) and criticisms (Siegrist, Keller, & Kiers, 2005; Sjöberg, 1996), the Somatic Marker Hypothesis (Damasio, 1994), Risk-as-feeling (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993), and Affect Heuristic (Finucane, Alhakami, Slovic, & Johnson, 2000; P. Slovic, Peters, Finucane, & MacGregor, 2005; P. Slovic, Finucane, Peters, & MacGregor, 2002). Examples from literature will show the students how these theories can be implemented. We will also discuss cultural, and gender differences. Special attention will be paid to health, food, and environmental issues.
The second part of the course will focus on risk communication. How to communicate environmental, health, and food risks. Different communication theories will be presented by means of literature (e.g. Bennett & Calman, 2005; Donsbach, 2008), and their implications will be presented. Students will be familiarized with different ways of communicating risk and will have to analyse a risk communication campaign. At the end of the course students will present a self-chosen risk (health, food, environmental) and present a communication strategy for their risk. This will be part of the final course examination.
This course is not only appropriate for Master students of Health and Communication. Also students from other Master programs are highly welcome as risk covers a very broad range of topics (e.g. environmental, financial, health, food).