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Technological and Digital Risk: Research Issues

Edited By Gevisa La Rocca and Juan Martínez Torvisco

What are the borders of risk? How is the perception of risk related to new technologies and digital changing? This book discusses these topics, moving from theories to research data, looking for concrete answers now, or taking a picture of reality. The volume is divided into three main sections: Exploring the Edges of Risk, according to sociological, psychological and artificial intelligence perspective; Technological and Digital Risks, exploring social media, cyberbullying, hate speech, social bots on digital platforms; Risk in the Cities, working with risk and deviance, risk communication, environmental and nuclear risks. Inside, research data from Europe, USA and Mexico are discussed.

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Chapter Two Technological Risk: From the Psychometric View (Juan Martínez-Torvisco)


Juan Martínez-Torvisco

Over the past few decades, the population of western societies seems to have experienced a growing awareness of risk, especially in relation to specific activities and technologies perceived as potential sources of threats and damage to our health or the environment. These include chemical leaks, flood risks, electromagnetic radiation, nuclear accidents, food risks, and such. As a result, there has been an increase in studies and concerns, in terms of the environment in which we live, the food that we eat, the objects we use, and the places we pass through. A variety of new risk factors have come about that produce a certain level of discomfort for the society in general and which can be translated, in many cases, through public demonstrations and protests, as well as the generalization of rejection attitudes towards those technologies or activities perceived as being potentially dangerous. Oftentimes, organizations that promote such activities or technologies tend to assert that the concerns of the population are not justified since the evidence of damage to health or to the environment is not always apparent through the available scientific methods.

Beck (1992) developed a set of conclusions in his book titled Risk and Society: Toward a New Modernity (1986/1992), initially published in German and translated into English in 1992. He draws upon a group of statements on how it is worthy of taking into account several aspects: a) risk possesses the destructive force of a war; b) we are becoming...

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