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>First, as an expert witness for the defendants, he argues that the
>point of a hazard communication is to diminish uncertainty--*not*
>to cause people to behave in a certain way.
You mean the legal system still retains shreds of the concept
that people make their own decisions, and that the written word
does not amount to mind control? How refreshing.
>The implications of the personal factor "familiarity" include this:
>the more people use the product (alcohol, weapons), the less
>dangerous they perceive the product to be. People who don't use them
>perceive them as dangerous.Trying to get your point across to likely
>users by screaming at them with "high fear" appeals may induce a
>boomerang effect, because you've lost all credibility.
I see a lot of this in my community, where logging and farming are
big industries. The things that kill people are the tools they
use every day -- tractors, chain saws, ATV's, trucks. But safety
consciousness has been creeping in over the years. The difference
in attitude between now and when I was a teenager are night and
day. At some point it became unfashionable to unbolt all safety
devices and throw them away, and people actually value the more
conventional safety devices, such as roll bars on tractors and
Robert Plamondon, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139 http://www.pioneer.net/~robertp