Edited by Daniel R. Montello
Chapter 18: Environmental risks and hazards from a cognitive-behavioral perspective
This chapter provides an overview of the way science and policy communities conceptualize environmental risk of individuals and communities, and shows how these ideas have influenced public policy, focusing on climate change and urban water conservation. Social and environmental scientists have stressed the interconnections between natural events and human perceptions and behaviors to understand the risk of harm from natural hazards. Harm from hazards has been conceptualized from a political economy perspective, as a pressure and release process, and from the Social Amplification of Risk Framework. Prospect Theory and heuristics also offer insight into the way people make decisions in the face of known probabilities. Environmental scientists differentiate between the experiential and analytical aspects of decision making and use these ideas to understand climate change attitudes and water conservation behaviors.
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