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Risk perception and codality in a cross-cultural context

WorkgroupPerception and Action Lab
FundingIWM budget resources
Project description

People receive daily warnings of risks through images and texts and are supposed to decide if a certain situation is dangerous. Interestingly, people behave differently toward the same risk situation (like wearing a mask during a pandemic), which raises the question, if risk perception is culturally universal. This project takes a closer look at how culture and language shape the processes underlying the risk perception.


This dissertation project bridges research in cognition and social processes. In cooperation with the HSE University in Moscow a first study, will focus on the influence of culture on the perception of risk information and on influences of gender, trust and risk-target (orientation of the danger only for the person alone or for the person and others).  

Pictorial information transmission receives rising importance nowadays with gaining digitalization. Further cross-cultural studies will investigate the influence of bilingualism of the comprehenders and how the codality, in which risk scenarios are presented (e.g. texts and images), influences risk perception. If comprehension processes are comparable in different codalities, is an open question. To this end, experimental design is developed that assesses risk perception at both languages and includes broad range of scenarios, such as finance, health, laws & norms, and emerging topics like artificial intelligence. These results will provide new insights about effects of culture and language on information processing, which is especially relevant for integration policy, conflict solving and professional training, especially in the context of increasing globalization and multiculturalism.

  • Dr. Anastasia Batkhina, Centre for Sociocultural Research, HSE University Moscow, Russia