Dynamics of Risk Perception
M. Gamp1, B. Renner1
1University of Konstanz
Introduction. Changing risk perception through providing actual risk feedback is a central topic in health intervention. Extending previous research, in the present study (1) multiple risk factors are assessed and, (2) a dynamic perspective is taken, examining trajectories in risk perception and protective behavior from pre-feedback to immediate responses after feedback and 6 month later. Methods: Dynamic change in risk perception in the context of a longitudinal public health was assessed before, immediately after and 6 month after receiving actual feedback about individual risk factors for coronary heart disease. Results: Participants (N=607) showed a relative accuracy in risk perception in relation to their actual risk feedback. Variations in post-feedback risk perception emerged due to both actual risk feedback and protective health behavior changes after receiving risk feedback. Importantly, the different risk status groups did not differ in the perceived peer-related risk, indicating an adaptive rather than defensive integration of risk information. Conclusions: Theoretical implications for and modulating factors of the processing of health risk information are discussed.