Communication partnerships: effects of consensus, disagreements and expertise
The use of partnerships between the Food Standards Agency and other potential sources of risk information offers one means for trying to improve risk communication with the public. If the Food Standards Agency is to develop a more effective communication strategy it needs to address the issue of the extent to which building such partnerships will be likely to be effective in raising public confidence and how such partnerships might be made more effective.
This project will provide an understanding of the role played by such partnerships in the process of risk communication. The research seeks to uncover the preferences of the public for different forms of communication partnerships and the key issues and barriers to implementation of such partnerships seen by potential partners. It will assess experimentally the impact on the effectiveness of communications of the number and types of partners and the degree of consensus or disagreement between partners. It will also explore the effects of trusted partners taking on expert information with and without explicit partnerships.
Richard Shepherd is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology, having retired in August 2011. He obtained degrees in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and in Psychology from Cardiff and Southampton. He was a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey and then worked at the Institute of Food Research from 1982 to 1998, initially in Norwich and then in Reading, before joining the University of Surrey as a Reader.
He has carried out research on a range of issues related to the factors influencing food choice. In particular this has involved the development and application of social cognition models to food choice issues and the exploration of the factors influencing dietary change. He has also conducted research on the perception of risk and risk communication particularly in relation to food issues. He has published widely in all of these areas of research, including editing two books.
He has directed research funded by BBSRC, ESRC, MAFF, FSA, Wellcome Trust and industry, in addition to several collaborative European projects funded by the EU. He is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. In the past Richard has been a member of the UK Food Standards Agency Social Science Research Committee, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Social Science Expert Advisory Group and the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel.
Dr Moira Dean
Dean, M. & Shepherd, R. (2007). Effects of information from sources in consensus on perceptions of genetically modified food. Food Quality and Preference, 18, 460-469.
Research groups and centres
Our research is supported by research groups and centres of excellence.