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WIREs Clim Change
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The social amplification/attenuation of risk framework: application to climate change

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Abstract The social experience of risk is not confined to the technical definition of risk, that is, the product of probability and magnitude. What human beings perceive as threat to their well‐being and how they evaluate probabilities and magnitudes of unwanted consequences is codetermined by values, attitudes, social influences, and cultural identity. This article introduces the social amplification of risk framework (SARF) and applies it to climate change. The SARF is based on the thesis that events pertaining to hazards interact with psychological, social, institutional, and cultural processes in ways that can heighten or attenuate individual and social perceptions of risk and shape risk behavior. Drawing upon the concept of social amplification of risk, this article investigates the mechanisms of amplification and attenuation in the climate change debate: it focuses first on the micro‐sociological and psychological literature on amplification and attenuation of individual responses (including behavior) in relation to climate change; and second on the application of functional resonance and common pool concepts to the intensity of societal concern and action, interpreted in the light of the SARF. WIREs Clim Change 2011 2 154–169 DOI: 10.1002/wcc.99 This article is categorized under: Perceptions, Behavior, and Communication of Climate Change > Social Amplification/Attenuation of Climate Risks

Amplification and attenuation. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 50. Copyright 2003 Cambridge University Press)

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Four central systems of society.50,62,71

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