Perceived Product Hazard Norms in Younger and Older Adults
Bowles, C. Travis (Christopher Travis)
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Designers and researchers have often assumed that individuals rely to some degree on individual perceptions of a product's hazard when interacting with warning systems that accompany the product. However, few investigations have been made to determine what precisely these perceptions are, and how they may differ across diverse populations (such as age). Younger and older adults were tested for perceived product hazards over a diverse group of products using a Battig and Montague (1969) style procedure. Participants were presented with a total of 78 products, and asked to list the first hazards that came to their mind (up to 7 per product) for each. Comparisons revealed age-related differences between the most commonly perceived hazards for 28 of the products, with many of the age-related differences not predicted prior to data collection. The resulting data additionally form a tool for designing warning systems and research stimuli based on the products or classes of products represented in this sample.