Signal Detection and Perceived Risks: Homeowner Responses to Radon Risk Information
Policies for reducing such risks as natural hazards, AIDS, household use of pesticides, and indoor air pollution often rely on dissemination of risk information to promote risk-reducing behavior. Economists often use state-dependent utility constructs to model this kind of problem. While this approach assumes a high degree of competence on the part of the decision maker, psychological evidence indicates that people frequently use simple rules when faced with complex decisions. This study employs Heiner’s model of rule-governed behavior to analyze radon mitigation. Application of the reliability model is illustrated with observed mitigation responses of a sample of Maine homeowners. Data now being collected from a sample of New York homeowners will provide a basis for testing formal hypotheses arising from the model.
KeywordsRadon perceived risk risk information reliability model
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