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Exploring Comparative Ratings And Constituent Facets Of Public Trust In Risk Regulatory Bodies And Related Stakeholder Groups

Andrew Weyman, N. Pidgeon, J. Walls, T. Horlick-Jones
Published 2006 · Psychology

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This paper reports on two comparative ranking tasks performed by a sample of the British citizens (N = 304). The first was designed to compare levels of relative trust vested in a sample of UK risk regulatory bodies and associated stakeholder groups. The second sought to elicit a ranking of a range of previously identified facets of social trust referenced to their desirability as attributes of a government funded risk regulatory body. The ranking tasks were embedded within a broader programme of research focused on “Evaluating public understandings of and trust in the Health and Safety Executive” (Pidgeon et al., 2003). It is argued that deriving rankings of multi‐faceted phenomena using the method of paired comparisons offers a more robust approach to rating social trust entities than the direct ranking techniques used in previous studies in this area. Results are discussed with reference to qualitative findings from the broader programme of work on public trust in HSE (Pidgeon et al., 2003) and the wider literature on public trust in risk regulation.
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