Risk Perception and Symptom Reporting

Risk Analysis, Vol. 16, No. 6, 1996

11 Pages Posted: 1 May 2011

See all articles by Donald G. MacGregor

Donald G. MacGregor

MacGregor-Bates, Inc.

Raymond Fleming

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 11, 1996


Public reaction to chemical technologies has included a perception that chemical exposure is a contributor to human health problems. Though these perceptions sometimes correspond with technical assessments of chemical risks, at other times they do not. This paper presents a descriptive model of the relationship between perception of one's health status and a set of factors that are used by individuals as part of causal reasoning about the meaning of somatic change. The model incorporates both personal events and experiences associated with somatic change (e.g., stress, sensory cues), as well as aspects of an individual's social context in which perceptions of chemical risks serve as a powerful framework for attributing meaning to chemical exposure. Within this model, the causal inferences that people make about the effects of chemical exposure on symptomatology are viewed as part of a natural, psychological adaptation in which the individual seeks to decrease their uncertainty about the factors or conditions that cause them to feel as they do.

Keywords: Risk perception, intuitive toxicology, illness perception, chemical exposure

Suggested Citation

MacGregor, Donald G. and Fleming, Raymond, Risk Perception and Symptom Reporting (April 11, 1996). Risk Analysis, Vol. 16, No. 6, 1996. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1826053

Donald G. MacGregor (Contact Author)

MacGregor-Bates, Inc. ( email )

1010 Villard Ave.
Cottage Grove, OR 97424
United States
(541) 942-5727 (Phone)

Raymond Fleming

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics