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Title: Cultural worldviews and risk perceptions : development and validation of the United Kingdom Worldview Scales
Author: Lord, Joshua
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 0922
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2018
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Cultural worldviews describe preferences for modes of social organisation, or "ways of life", conceptualised according to two orthogonal dimensions of grid (hierarchism vs egalitarianism) and group (individualism vs communitarianism), and have been linked to perceptions of various hazards. Several scales are available to measure worldviews. However, these have been developed within the US context, and exhibit poorer psychometric and predictive performance in other cultural contexts. This thesis presents the development of the United Kingdom Worldview Scales (UKWS), as well as the results of experiments testing the long-assumed causal relationship between worldviews and risk perceptions posited by Cultural Theory, and Cultural Cognition theory. An initial item-pool was developed with reference to existing worldview measures and socio-political attitudes in the UK. Following cognitive interviewing, items were revised and administered in a pilot survey (n=190). Psychometric analyses identified poorly performing items. The remaining items were then administered in a nationally representative survey (n=1,533), alongside measures of related constructs and risk perceptions. Following further psychometric analyses, a 9-item hierarchy and a 6- item individualism scale were rendered. Correlations with related constructs supported the convergent validity of the scales, and regression models revealed that they broadly predicted risk perceptions in patterns hypothesised. After piloting a cultural worldview manipulation, the causality of these relationships was then tested in a survey experiment (n=594). In the experimental condition, participants were exposed to an egalitarianism prime under mortality salience, designed to increase their egalitarianism. All participants completed the UKWS and risk perception measures. Neither hierarchy nor individualism scores differed between the experimental and control condition, suggesting that the worldview manipulation was ineffective. MANOVA revealed that risk perceptions did not differ across conditions. Implications for the valid cross-cultural measurement of cultural worldviews and strategies for experimentally manipulating these constructs are discussed, as well as real-world implications for risk communication strategies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology