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RISK COMMUNICATION, RADIATION, AND RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCIES: STRATEGIES, TOOLS, AND TECHNIQUES

Covello, Vincent T.*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3182299549
Warren K. Sinclair Keynote Address: Paper

Risk communication is the two-way exchange of information about risks, including risks associated with radiation and radiological events. The risk communication literature contains a broad range of strategies for overcoming the psychological, sociological, and cultural factors that create public misperceptions and misunderstandings about risks. These strategies help radiation risk communicators overcome the challenges posed by three basic observations about people under stress: (1) people under stress typically want to know that you care before they care about what you know; (2) people under stress typically have difficulty hearing, understanding, and remembering information; (3) people under stress typically focus more on negative information than positive information.

* Center for Risk Communication, 415 East 52nd Street, Suite 3DA, New York, NY 10022.

For correspondence contact the author at the above address, or email at vincentcovello@yahoo.com.

(Manuscript accepted 16 June 2011)

©2011Health Physics Society