Understanding of the Mechanisms Underlying Perception of Risk

      Salzberger, T.

      Conference date
      Sep 29, 2022
      Conference name
      CROM Virtual Workshop 2022

      Typically, the psychometric scale validation is based on various statistical (i.e., quantitative) methods on the one hand and content-related, usually qualitative, considerations on the other. Both approaches are essential but not linked. While statistical relationships between scores determine whether items behave as expected, it is content validity that ultimately provides evidence that we are measuring what we claim to be measuring (i.e., risk perceptions). A measurement mechanism for perceived risk aims at linking qualitative evidence and content validity by specifying an explanatory model of risk. Risk is generally defined as a function of the probability of an outcome and its utility, which is typically negative.

      It can be shown that perceptions of probability and negative utility of the health conditions included in the 9-item Perceived Health Risk scale short form of the ABOUT™—Perceived Risk significantly explain psychometric properties of the items and the participants’ level of perceived risk. This not only strengthens the validity of the scale by providing evidence that the ABOUT™—Perceived Risk actually measures perceived risk. It also allows insight into how probability and negative utility contribute to the perceived risk of individual health conditions.