Public understanding of risk is one of the largest research areas at the centre. It includes research on risk perception, risk communication, sense-making of risk, resilience and has a strong focus on how risk perceptions and risk understandings are gendered, ethnicized, sexualized and aged in society.
This has been studied in a number of projects and with a variety of methods and theoretical approaches. For example, a longitudinal national survey called Society and Risk has been developed and conducted three times (2005, 2008 and 2011) on which a large number of articles and a book have been based. The results show for example that risk perception is context dependent, and that foreign background is related to higher risk perceptions.
A large number of individual interviews and focus group interviews have also been conducted in different research projects as well as an analysis of more than 700 photographs of risk made by school children of all ages across Sweden. Applied research at RCR in this area includes studies of individual motives to prevent accidents and risk communication between authorities and particular population groups.