Affective and Cognitive Components of Risk Perception Work Differently in the Case of Cellular Phone
1Ruppin Academic Center, Israel
Background: Recent findings in risk perception highlight the importance of the affective component in predicting intentions and behaviors (Dillard, Ubel, Ferrer, & Fagerlin, 2012; Janssen et al., 2011). The present study replicated the design and measures in sun-screening and extended it to use of cellular phones.Methods: 116 participants filled an online cross-sectional survey, tapping knowledge , affective and cognitive risk perception, worry, behavioral intentions and actual behaviors with respect to using sun-screen and using cellular phones. Demographic variables were also recorded. Results: Finding on sun-screen use were replicated, but were different in the case of using a cellular phone: thought knowledge about the negative effects of radiation was unrelated to reported behavior, the cognitive component of risk perception was significantly associated (r=.18, p<.05) with behavior while the affective component and worry were unrelated. Moreover, cognitive risk perception was the only predictor of behavior in a multivariate analysis. Conclusions: The results are discussed in terms of dual-process models and the possibility of the singularity and centrality of cell phones.