Adult notions of children's perceptions of consumer product risk
Hammond, Amy J.
Laughery, Kenneth R., Sr.
Master of Arts
Consumer product risk perception research has traditionally employed adult subjects assessing adult risk, but little work has explored children's perceptions. Because adults structure the environment of children, it is important to understand not only how children assess risk for themselves, but how adults assess risk for children and how adults think children assess risk. This study examined the risk perceptions of 7-8 year old children and the perceptions which parents and non-parents have for and attribute to children. It was found that adults see the world as more hazardous for children than for adults, but predict that children do not see the hazards. Children do recognize product hazards, but do not see the world as hazardous as adults see it for them, nor do they see it as hazard-less as adults predict they will. This suggests that adults' mental framework, while inaccurate, is still likely to encourage children's safety.
Cognitive psychology; Experimental psychology; Developmental psychology