Values and risk perception : a cross-cultural examination
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between individual values and risk perception of terror attacks. This relationship is examined via a study employing university students from Turkey (n = 536) and Israel (n = 298). Those two countries share an ongoing threat of terror attacks, but differ in their socio-cultural backgrounds. Schwartz Value Theory (1992; 1994) is used to conceptualize and measure values. Cognitive and emotional responses about (1) potentially being exposed to a terror attack, and (2) a terror attack potentially occurring in the country are assessed to measure risk perception. Results partly support the hypotheses by showing expected associations of values with risk perception, as well as indicating gender differences and cultural variations. The more importance the Turkish and Israeli participants attribute to self-direction values, the less emotional they feel about the threat of being exposed to a terror attack. However, the greater priority they attribute to security values, the more negative affect they express about both threats. Furthermore, the more importance they give to hedonism & stimulation values, the less likely they perceive the likelihood of both threats. Current findings are discussed in relation to previous results, theoretical approaches, and practical implications.