“Cultural cognition"refers to the tendency of individuals to form beliefs about societal dangers that reflect and reinforce their commitments to particular visions of the ideal society. Cultural cognition is one of a variety of approaches developed for empirical testing of the "cultural theory of risk" associated with Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky. This chapter (from the Handbook of Risk Theory, Springer Pub.) discusses the distinctive features of cultural cognition as a conception of cultural theory, including its cultural worldview measures; its emphasis on social psychological mechanisms that connect individuals' risk perceptions to their cultural outlooks; and its practical goal of enabling self-conscious management of popular risk perceptions in the interest of promoting scientifically sound public policies that are congenial to persons of diverse outlooks.
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