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Risk perception and risk communication are my main areas of expertise. I am very much interested in the way people respond to risks and what factors influence their perceptions and attitudes in this domain.
- Supervision Mastertheses, 201000150
- Supervision Bachelortheses, 201000153
- Advanced Research Methods for CRS, 201600161
- Psychology of Safety, 201600005
- Research Methods and Research Project
- Module Risk Perception and Risk Communication (Master Risk Management)
My main research interests lie in the field of risk perception and risk communication. In last few years, mostly in relation to food issues, such as the perception of the risks and benefits of particular foods and the application of nanotechnology in a food related context.
I have used a wide variety of research strategies and data analysis techniques, including structural equation modelling, to study what determines how individuals perceive risks and how they respond to risk related information.
As such, I am also very interested in the content of the mass media coverage of risks and the characteristics of the exchange of information on social media, and in the effects of the traditional and social media on risk perceptions and associated attitudes and behaviours.
Projects that I have been involved in, include:
Social media influences on the risk perception and attitude towards the application of nanotechnology in foods
Social media currently are an important source of information. This project aims to understand how individuals respond to information presented on social media in relation to the application of nanotechnology in foods.
One of the studies focuses on the differential effect of social media authors, a second study on the effects of reactions to posts on Facebook and a third on the factors that lead individuals to share information on the risks and benefits of nanotechnology in foods with others.
Social media influences on the risk perception and attitude towards organic products
This project aims to understand how individuals respond to information presented on social media in relation to organically produced foods. Questions of interests are whether social media users respond differently to information from different social media authors, and whether the level of social support for a statement affects risk perception, attitude and the willingness to buy organic products. A third study focuses on the factors that lead individuals to share information on the risks of organic foods with others.
FoodRisC: Food Risk Communication - Perceptions and communication of food risks/benefits across Europe
FoodRisC aimed to map out the networks and information sources contributing to food risk and benefit communication across Europe and to create a toolkit aimed at policy makers, food authorities and other stakeholders to facilitate effective and coherent communication on food across Europe. The University of Twente focused on the role of information seeking in food risk/benefit communication.
Quantitative content analysis of disaster media coverage
In the Netherlands, there was an explosion in a fireworks factory that killed 23 people in the residential area in which it was located. This disaster was extensively covered in the traditional mass media and led to important changes in legislation. The study analysed the coverage of the disaster over a period of three years from a quantitative point of view. It related the amount of coverage to events in the aftermath of the disaster. Focus was on journalists' use of frames such as conflict, responsibility, human interest and economic consequences, in particular in relation to local and regional authorities.
I am very active internationally. I have served on the Board of the Society for Risk Analysis Europe for a period of 8 years, 2 of which as president. I have been involved in the organisation of a number of the Society’s annual conferences, and for many years now I am responsible for the Society’s communication by means of its website.
I have also served on the Council of the Society for Risk Analysis, and have been a member of the committee that programmes this Society’s annual conference in the USA.
I am a fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis.
Hilverda, F., Jurgens, M., & Kuttschreuter, M. (2016).Word associations with “Organic”: What do consumers think of? British Food Journal, 118 (12), 2931 – 2948. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-05-2016-0229
Hilverda, F., Kuttschreuter, M., & Giebels, E. (2017). Social media mediated interaction with peers, experts and anonymous authors: Conversation partner and message framing effects on risk perception and sense-making of organic food. Food Quality and Preference, 56, 107-118. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2016.09.003.
Regan, A., McConnon, A., Kuttschreuter, M., Rutsaert, P., Shan, L., Pieniak, Z., Barnett,J., Verbeke, W., Wall, P. (2014). The impact of communicating conflicting risk and benefit messages: an experimental study on red meat information. Food Quality and Preference, 38, 107-114. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2014.05.019
Kuttschreuter, M., Rutsaert, P., Hilverda, F., Regan, A., Barnett, J., Verbeke, W. (2014). Seeking information about food related risks: The contribution of social media. Food Quality and Preference, 37 – 10-18. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2014.04.006
Rutsaert, P., Pieniak, Z., Regan, A., McConnon, A., Kuttschreuter, M., Lores, M., Lozano, N., Guzzon, A., Santare, D., Verbeke, W. (2014). Social media as a useful tool in food risk and benefit communication? A strategic orientation Approach. Food Policy, 46, 84-93. doi: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2014.02.003
Keller, C., A. Bostrom, A., Kuttschreuter, M., Savadori, L., Spence, A., White M. (2012). Bringing appraisal theory to environmental risk perception: A review of conceptual approaches and suggestions for future research. Journal of Risk Research, 15 (3), 237-256. doi: 10.1080/13669877.2011.634523
Barnett, J., McConnon, A., Kennedy, J., Raats, M., Shepherd, R., Verbeke, W., Fletcher, J., Kuttschreuter, M., Lima, L., Wills, J., and Wall P. (2011). Development of strategies for effective communication of food risks and benefits across Europe: Design and conceptual framework of the FoodRisC project. BMC Public Health, 11, Article number 308. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-308