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The SAGE Handbook of Risk Communication

The SAGE Handbook of Risk Communication

Edited by:

November 2014 | 376 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
In this comprehensive, state-of-the-art overview of risk communication, the field’s leading experts summarize theory, current research, and practice in a range of disciplines and describe effective communication approaches for risk situations in diverse contexts, such as health, environment, science, technology, and crisis. Offering practical insights, the contributors consider risk communication in all contexts and applications—interpersonal, organizational, and societal—offering a wider view of risk communication than other volumes. Importantly, the handbook emphasizes the communication side of risk communication, providing integrative knowledge about the models, audiences, messages, and the media and channels necessary for effective risk communication that enables informed judgments and actions regarding risk.

Editors Hyunyi Cho, Torsten Reimer, and Katherine McComas have significantly contributed to the field of risk communication with this important reference work—a must-have for students, scholars, and risk and crisis communication professionals.

Hyunyi Cho, Torsten Reimer, and Katherine A. McComas
Introduction: Explicating Communication in Risk Communication
Erin Maloney
Risk judgments in provide-patient communication
Part I: Foundations of Risk Communication
Wolfgang Gaissmaier, Nicolai Bodemer
Judgments under uncertainty
Section 1: Risk Perceptions of Individuals
Ralph Hertwig, Renato Frey
Decisions from experience and decisions from description
Nicolai Bodemer and Wolfgang Gaissmaier
Chapter 1: Risk Perception
Daniel Vaestfaell
Affect, emotions, and risk perception
Ralph Hertwig and Renato Frey
Chapter 2: The Challenge of the Description-Experience Gap to the Communication of Risks
Craig Trumbo
Stephan Dickert, Daniel Vastfjall, Robert Mauro, and Paul Slovic
Chapter 3: The Feeling of Risk: Implications for Risk Perception and Communication
Adam Burgess
Social construction of risk
Section 2: Risk as Social Construction
Dietram Scheufele, Andrew Binder, Dominique Brossard
The role of communication in social amplification of risk
Adam Burgess
Chapter 4: Social Construction of Risk
Connie Arnold, Cathy Coyne, Angie Fagerlin, Julia Esparza, Terry Davis
Andrew R. Binder, Michael A. Cacciatore, Dietram A. Scheufele, and Dominique Brossard
Chapter 5: The Role of News Media in the Social Amplification of Risk
Valerie Reyna, Priscila Brust-Renck
Robin E. Jensen
Chapter 6: Rhetoric of Risk
Dan Kahan
Cultural Cognition
Part II: Components of Risk Communication
Stephen Lyng
Risk Communication in Edgework Practices
Section 3: Models of Risk Communication
Torsten Reimer, Christina Jones
Numerical presentation of risk
Sharon Dunwoody and Robert J. Griffin
Chapter 7: Risk Information Seeking and Processing Model
Hyunyi Cho, Lorin Friley
Narrative presentation of risk
Hyunyi Cho and Kai Kuang
Chapter 8: The Societal Risk Reduction Motivation Model
Andrew King
Visual presentation of risk
Section 4: Audiences of Risk Communication
Sharon Dunwoody, Robert Griffin
Risk information seeking and processing
Priscila G. Brust-Renck, Valerie F. Reyna, Jonathan C. Corbin, Caisa E. Royer, and Rebecca B. Weldon
Chapter 9: The Role of Numeracy in Risk Communication
Monique Turner, Rajiv Rimal
Personal risk: The risk perception attitude framework
Stephen Lyng, Thomas Workman, and G. H. Morris
Chapter 10: Edgework and Risk Communication
Hyunyi Cho, Kai Kuang
The Societal Risk Control Action Model
Section 5: Risk Communication Messages
Susanna Priest
Media portrayal of risk
Torsten Reimer, Christina Jones, and Christine Skubisz
Chapter 11: Numeric Communication of Risk
Matthew Nisbet
Effects of media framing of risk issues
Hyunyi Cho and L. Brooke Friley
Chapter 12: Narrative Communication of Risk: Toward Balancing Accuracy and Acceptance
Steve Rains
Channels of risk communication
Andrew J. King
Chapter 13: Visual Messaging and Risk Communication
Carma Bylund
Risk judgments in physician-patient communication
Section 6: Risk Communication and the Media
Janet Yang
Informed consent
Susanna Priest
Chapter 14: Media Portrayal of Risk: The Social Production of News
Torsten Reimer, Benjamin Russell
Risk judgments and behavior in groups
Matthew C. Nisbet
Chapter 15: Framing, the Media, and Risk Communication in Policy Debates
Timothy Sellnow
Crisis Communication
Stephen A. Rains, Steven R. Brunner, and Kyle Oman
Chapter 16: Social Media and Risk Communication
Hilary Boudet, Shannon Bell
Social Movements
Part III: Contexts of Risk Communication
John Besley
Public participation in the risk decision processes
Section 7: Interpersonal Contexts of Risk Communication
Robin Jensen
Rhetoric of risk
Carma L. Bylund, Erin Maloney, and Emily B. Peterson
Chapter 17: Risk Communication in Provider-Patient Interactions
Janet Yang
Chapter 18: Informed Consent
Section 8: Organizational Contexts of Risk Communication
Tillman Russell and Torsten Reimer
Chapter 19: Risk Communication in Groups
Timothy L. Sellnow
Chapter 20: Crisis Communication
Section 9: Risk Communication in the Public Sphere
Hilary Schaffer Boudet and Shannon Elizabeth Bell
Chapter 21: Social Movements and Risk Communication
John C. Besley
Chapter 22: Public Engagement in Risk-Related Decision Making
Author Index
Subject Index
About the Editors
About the Contributors
Key features


  • The book draws on the expertise of strong contributors from a wide range of disciplines, including decision science, psychology, sociology, and public health.
  • "Reflections for Theory and Research” sections in every chapter give readers an opportunity to think critically about the current state of knowledge and future agenda for advancing theory and research.
  • “Recommendations for Practice” sections in each chapter provide theory and research-based guidance for improving risk communication practice.
  • Cases and examples from divergent applied domains including health, environment, science, and technology, show concepts in action.
  • Chapter-ending additional readings direct readers to publications that can further extend their understanding of risk communication theory and practice.
  • A Glossary at the end of the book that defines key concepts serves as a comprehensive and handy guide for risk communication researchers, practitioners, and students.

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ISBN: 9781452258683

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