Regarding "information deficit model" I agree. It does not fully or mostly explain public behavior. One must also consider Sandman's formulation that Risk = Hazard + Outrage. Fixing an information deficit, if successful, can address Hazard but has little or no impact on Outrage.
Consider the recent New Jersey quarantine order for returning Ebola healthcare volunteers. It seems to be based completely on Outrage.
Peter Zavon, CIH
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Ralph Stuart
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2014 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Colorado methanol fire case
>In my opinion, those who urge others to ‰?? use common sense‰?? are saying things equivalent to ‰??be more careful‰?? as a future action in an accident investigation.
I think that it also assumes an "information deficit" model http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_deficit_model
to explain behavior. I believe that the scientific communication researchers are finding that that is not a good explanation for public behavior, particularly around chemicals. There is an element of technical explanation that has to include cultural factors as well in order to be effective.
I wonder if one reason that the number of methanol fires is gaining notice is that there are a lot of "cool" demonstrations by amateurs on the web that science teachers feel that they have to emulate or compete with? Personally, I'm not clear that fires and explosions are the best way to explain chemistry, but I know that it is a popular approach with some educators.
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