Social trust, risk perceptions and public acceptance of recycled water: testing a social-psychological model

Ross, Victoria L., Fielding, Kelly S. and Louis, Winnifred R. (2014) Social trust, risk perceptions and public acceptance of recycled water: testing a social-psychological model. Journal of Environmental Management, 137 61-68. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.01.039


Author Ross, Victoria L.
Fielding, Kelly S.
Louis, Winnifred R.
Title Social trust, risk perceptions and public acceptance of recycled water: testing a social-psychological model
Journal name Journal of Environmental Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0301-4797
1095-8630
Publication date 2014-05-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.01.039
Volume 137
Start page 61
End page 68
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Subject 2305 Environmental Engineering
2311 Waste Management and Disposal
2308 Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Abstract Faced with a severe drought, the residents of the regional city of Toowoomba, in South East Queensland, Australia were asked to consider a potable wastewater reuse scheme to supplement drinking water supplies. As public risk perceptions and trust have been shown to be key factors in acceptance of potable reuse projects, this research developed and tested a social-psychological model of trust, risk perceptions and acceptance. Participants (N=380) were surveyed a few weeks before a referendum was held in which residents voted against the controversial scheme. Analysis using structural equation modelling showed that the more community members perceived that the water authority used fair procedures (e.g., consulting with the community and providing accurate information), the greater their sense of shared identity with the water authority. Shared social identity in turn influenced trust via increased source credibility, that is, perceptions that the water authority is competent and has the community's interest at heart. The findings also support past research showing that higher levels of trust in the water authority were associated with lower perceptions of risk, which in turn were associated with higher levels of acceptance, and vice versa. The findings have a practical application for improving public acceptance of potable recycled water schemes.
Keyword Fairness
Identification
Recycled water
Risk
Trust
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 10 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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