A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Safety Beliefs about Products and Warnings: Brazil vs. United States
Authors: Claudia Mont’Alvãoa, Soyun Kimb
Abstract: Concerns about safety have generated considerable research on warnings in recent years. A number of factors that influence warning effectiveness have been investigated. One factor is perceived hazard, which is a belief about how dangerous a product, environment or activity may be. The purpose of the present study was to conduct a cross-cultural investigation between the beliefs and attitudes about the safety of consumer products, the roles of product manufacturers and government in product safety, and aspects regarding warnings by participants in Brazil and in the United States (U.S.). A total of 282 individuals (including college students and adult volunteers) were recruited from these two countries. Participants in both countries believed that government would act to protect them by recalling or banning unsafe products and that manufacturers are more concerned with profits than safety. U.S. participants believed that the products in the U.S. were safer at a level that was significantly higher than what Brazilians believed about their products. Interestingly Brazilians reported that they read warnings more than the U.S. participants reported but Brazilian participants believed their warning labels were of poorer quality than what the U.S. participants reported. Other results show additional differences between the two populations. The results are discussed in terms of acknowledging that cultural background can affect safety-related beliefs.
Keywords: Warnings, Safety, Consumer products
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