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Pessimistic Misperceptions of Risk and Health : Individual and Societal Perspectives

Pessimistic Misperceptions of Risk and Health : Individual and Societal Perspectives

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DEBBELER, Luka Johanna, 2020. Pessimistic Misperceptions of Risk and Health : Individual and Societal Perspectives [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz

@phdthesis{Debbeler2020Pessi-54808, title={Pessimistic Misperceptions of Risk and Health : Individual and Societal Perspectives}, year={2020}, author={Debbeler, Luka Johanna}, address={Konstanz}, school={Universität Konstanz} }

<rdf:RDF xmlns:dcterms="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:bibo="http://purl.org/ontology/bibo/" xmlns:dspace="http://digital-repositories.org/ontologies/dspace/0.1.0#" xmlns:foaf="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/" xmlns:void="http://rdfs.org/ns/void#" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#" > <rdf:Description rdf:about="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/rdf/resource/123456789/54808"> <dc:creator>Debbeler, Luka Johanna</dc:creator> <dspace:isPartOfCollection rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/rdf/resource/123456789/43"/> <dcterms:issued>2020</dcterms:issued> <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">We are surrounded by a multitude of health risks, and reducing them often requires a combination of both individual and societal measures. While individual perceptions of risk and health are important motivators for initiating protective behavior, at a societal level risk and health perceptions that are not concurrent with the priorities of health policies can affect trust in public health services and potentially jeopardize acceptance of and adherence to health policy measures. The present dissertation aims to empirically examine perceptions of risk and health by comparing them to actual indicators in two studies. A systematic analysis of key aspects of health communication, as a means of addressing potential misperceptions augments the empirical evidence and provides insights into the implications of current technological developments for health communication and perception. The present dissertation first studies risk and health perceptions at the individual level, using the example of drinking water and taking a comprehensive product- and consumer-oriented approach. Comparing tap and bottled water consumers’ health-related beliefs and risk perceptions for tap and bottled water shows that consumer groups hold polarized but – as a blind taste test reveals – illusory beliefs in favour of the product that each prefers. Moreover, a novel visualization technique called v-plots is developed, which combines features of other visualization techniques and allows the comparison of both single bins and the overall distribution between groups. The v-plots facilitate the identification of differences in cognitive and affect-related risk perception, showing that bottled water consumers perceive tap water as a greater risk for their health and are more worried that they might ingest harmful substances when drinking tap water than tap water consumers. The present dissertation then examines health perceptions at the societal level. An online survey assesses perceived and ideal societal distributions of health of respondents from Germany and the United Kingdom (UK), which are compared with representative health indicators. Results show that people hold markedly pessimistic misperceptions about the societal distribution of health. Surprisingly, the actual distribution of health approaches or even exceeds the ideal level of health that the respondents desire. The findings are consistent with samples from Germany and the UK for wealth, age, gender, and self-rated health groups, indicating a stable but inaccurate perception of health inequality. These pessimistic misperceptions at both individual and societal levels might come with serious implications for individual health expectations and may affect risk and health behavior, political attitudes, and health policy endorsement. Furthermore, since health communication can be utilized to address misperceptions of risk and health, the present dissertation highlights major aspects of health communication and elucidates their roles in the increasingly interconnected and technologized field of health. An analysis of the conceptual and practical characteristics of health communication shows that its aims cannot be addressed solely at an individual level, but must also be tackled at a societal level. Moreover, while the flood of information on the internet comes with challenges such as uncontrolled quality, it also provides opportunities to foster participation in health-related decisions and to address misperceptions by tailoring information specifically to the recipient. Bringing together evidence on pessimistic misperceptions about risk and health with an analysis of key factors of health communication provides a promising starting point of health interventions and essential knowledge for increasing the acceptance of public health measures. Using the full potential of modern health communication can help with developing strategies to address misperceptions of risk and health at both individual and societal levels. Together, this can pave the way for developing new and effective health communication approaches to foster health, reduce risk behavior, and eventually reduce inequalities in health.</dcterms:abstract> <dc:language>eng</dc:language> <dc:contributor>Debbeler, Luka Johanna</dc:contributor> <dspace:hasBitstream rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/bitstream/123456789/54808/5/Debbeler_2-1pxqo1j3qg8uh7.pdf"/> <dc:date rdf:datatype="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#dateTime">2021-09-06T11:49:36Z</dc:date> <dcterms:rights rdf:resource="https://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/"/> <dcterms:available rdf:datatype="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#dateTime">2021-09-06T11:49:36Z</dcterms:available> <dcterms:title>Pessimistic Misperceptions of Risk and Health : Individual and Societal Perspectives</dcterms:title> <dcterms:hasPart rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/bitstream/123456789/54808/5/Debbeler_2-1pxqo1j3qg8uh7.pdf"/> <foaf:homepage rdf:resource="http://localhost:8080/jspui"/> <dc:rights>terms-of-use</dc:rights> <dcterms:isPartOf rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/rdf/resource/123456789/43"/> <bibo:uri rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/handle/123456789/54808"/> <void:sparqlEndpoint rdf:resource="http://localhost/fuseki/dspace/sparql"/> </rdf:Description> </rdf:RDF>

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