The conventional research of risk communication centers on how scientific community can improve trust and credibility in public perception, enhance public understanding of risks, and change public behaviors to conform to technocratic values. More recently, the emphasis of risk communication has evolved from conveying scientific data and risk information to establishing effective information flows. It has been recognized that establishing two-way communication channels among experts, governments, corporate, and general public is important to build trust relationship. With conflicting interests and coordination motive among stakeholders, the societal aspects of risk communication need to be considered. In this paper, a mathematical model of social value of risk information is proposed to explicitly incorporate factors such as public and private information, personal bias, knowledge, and social behavior in risk communication. Uncertainties associated with the perceived risks due to both the lack of knowledge and individual differences in population are considered in the proposed model. The impacts of precision and accuracy of risk information as well as subjective bias on social welfare are characterized. Some of the model predictions on the effectiveness of communication are verified with the observations in other's survey studies. The proposed model could potentially be used to help devise risk communication strategies and policies. Its use is demonstrated in a case study of Fukushima nuclear accident.

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