Participant-focused analysis: Explanatory power of the classic psychometric paradigm in risk perception

Nicolás C. Bronfman, Luis Abdón Cifuentes, Virna Vaneza Gutiérrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Typical psychometric paradigm factors appear to have greater explanatory power for individual participants than previously envisaged. It is possible to acquire interpretable information about single participants using two factors (catastrophic potential and social and personal exposure) from aggregated participant-focused data. Our results suggest that the classical psychometric model originated by Fischhoff and Slovic in the early 1980s to explain differences among hazards may also be capable of accounting for differences among participants. While socio-demographic conditions on their own do not have substantial explanatory power, they are statistically significant and appear to dictate the position of participants within the factor space obtained using a participant-focused analysis. One of the principal criticisms of the psychometric paradigm has been its lack of interpretability when using disaggregated data, but incorporating socio-demographic variables overcomes this limitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-753
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Risk Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Principal component analysis
  • Psychometric paradigm
  • Risk perceptions
  • Socio-demographic conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management


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