Leviston, Zoe and Browne, Alison and Greenhill, Murni (2013) Domain-based perceptions of risk: A case study of lay and technical community attitudes towards Managed Aquifer Recharge. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. (In Press)
Despite growing water scarcity, communities in many parts of the developed world often reject technically and economically sound options for water augmentation. This paper reports findings from a study investigating risk perceptions associated with a proposed Managed Aquifer Recharge scheme in Australia. Q-Methodology was used to compare decision-making frameworks of lay community and „technical expert‟ participants. Technical expert participants were also asked to approximate the decision-making framework of a „typical‟ community member. The emerging contrasts between lay community frameworks and those approximated by technical experts suggest that there are prevailing yet errant assumptions about lay community attitudes towards new technologies. The findings challenge the characterisation of the lay community and technical experts as being in entrenched opposition with one another.
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