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Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute
Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute

Journal of Health and Medical Sciences

ISSN 2622-7258

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open access

Published: 01 March 2023

Imprecision and Unconscious Moralism in Public Health Risk Communication

Raywat Deonandan

University of Ottawa, Canada

journal of social and political sciences
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Pages: 29-33

Keywords: Unconscious Moralism, Public Health, Risk Communication


Risk communication is a foundation of the practice of public health. It is traditionally based on a carefully considered epidemiological computation of the likelihood of experiencing a condition given the presence of a particular exposure or behaviour. The extent to which numerical precision is important in such communication is a function of the availability of good statistics, the ability of the target audience to appreciate the meaning of the statistics, and the emotional heft represented by the chosen statistic. There is an inherent danger, however, in overweighting the latter consideration at the expense of the former two. When emotional impact and behavioural change become goals to the exclusion of complete scientific credibility, we risk brushing against the realm of propaganda in service of unexplored unconscious societal moralism. In this era of heightened distrust of state authority, it behooves public health communication to avoid the suggestion of data misrepresentation in service of behaviour change, regardless of how socially desirable that change might be.


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