The Determinants of Trust and Credibility in Environmental Risk Communication: An Empirical Study

  • Vincent T. Covello
  • Richard G. Peters
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASID, volume 86)


A major factor determining outcomes in environmental controversies is the trust and credibility of organizations involved in the debate. Given the importance of trust and credibility in environmental decision making, the purpose of this study is to examine the determinants of trust and credibility. Specifically, the study hypothesizes that trust and credibility are based on three factors: knowledge and expertise; openness and honesty; and concern and care. Using empirical data from a national survey, the study supports this hypothesis. The study also supports the hypothesis that an important method for improving perceptions of trust and credibility is to provide information that is contrary to negative stereotypes.


Risk Perception Risk Communication Contributor Status High Trust Citizen Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent T. Covello
    • 1
  • Richard G. Peters
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Risk CommunicationColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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