Why do experts and lay people perceive risk differently? Why do we overestimate some risks and underestimate others? Finucane will address these and other questions about the psychology of risk perception. She will give a broad introduction to research on the “personality” of various hazardous activities and technologies, how technological stigma arises, how people make sense of a complex world, and the roles of gender and culture in risk perceptions. Finucane will highlight practical implications for risk communication and resolving conflicts.
Dr. Melissa Finucane earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Western Australia. She studies human judgment and decision making, emotion, and risk perception at Decision Research in Eugene, Oregon. She is particularly interested in how emotion helps people make sense of complex health and environmental information.