Risk Management

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 156–167

Exploring the Triangular Relationship Between Trust, Affect, and Risk Perception: A Review of the Literature



Various incidents in the past, such as the BSE crisis in the UK, have shown that people's perceptions of hazards influence the risk management process. In this literature review, we investigated how people's affective evaluations and their trust in responsible agencies shape risk perception. In addition, we explored the relation between affect and trust, and the implications of these factors for risk management. Affect and trust appear to be important determinants of risk perception. Both factors act as heuristics when people have insufficient time, cognitive capacity, or motivation to evaluate risks deliberately. Trust and affect influence each other but more research is needed to clarify the direction of this relation. Risk managers should consider people's instantaneous responses to risks in addition to their deliberate responses. Additionally, they should focus on compatible values and other trust-enhancing factors.


trust affect risk perception risk management implications 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ETH Zurich, Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED), Consumer BehaviorZurichSwitzerland

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