4. Constraints to Effective Risk Communication

  1. Regina E. Lundgren and
  2. Andrea H. McMakin

Published Online: 12 JUL 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118645734.ch4

Risk Communication, Fifth Edition

Risk Communication, Fifth Edition

How to Cite

Lundgren, R. E. and McMakin, A. H. (eds) (2013) Constraints to Effective Risk Communication, in Risk Communication, Fifth Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118645734.ch4

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 JUL 2013
  2. Published Print: 22 JUL 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118456934

Online ISBN: 9781118645734



  • emotional constraints;
  • knowledge base;
  • organizational constraints;
  • risk assessment;
  • risk communication;
  • stigma


This chapter discusses the constraints on those who are communicating risk and the constraints that come from the audience, offering advice on how to recognize and overcome the potential problems. The constraints can hinder the effective communication of risk, including organizational and emotional constraints affecting those who are communicating the risk, hostility and outrage, panic and denial, apathy, mistrust of the risk assessment process, disagreement on the acceptable magnitude of risk, lack of faith in science and institutions, learning difficulties for the audience, and stigma and the changing knowledge base for both communicators and audience members.