IFE PsychologIA

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Risk perception and fear of terrorism: an assessment of risk amplification in a Ghanaian sample

Feikoab Parimah, Makafui Jonas Davour, Courage Collins Kofi


Among others, the study sought to examine the differences that exist between those whose family members have ever experienced a terrorist event and those whose relatives have never experienced one, on their risk perception of possible terrorist attack in Ghana. Besides, the association between Ghanaians’ level of solidarity with other Africans and their fear of a likely terrorist attack was also investigated. Additionally, we endeavored to find out if an association exists between the last time an individual saw a terrorist event on television and their risk perception of terrorist attacks. With the University of Ghana as the setting of the study, two hundred and forty two (242) undergraduates were sampled (males=119(49.2%) and females=122(50.4%)), of which a respondent failed to indicate his or her sex. The average age of respondents was 22.16(SD=2.71). A significant positive relationship was observed between respondents’ level of solidarity with other Africans and their fear of possible terrorist attack. Further, it was found that a significant negative association exist between the last time one saw a terrorist attack on television and risk perception of terrorist attacks. Since the results of the study goes to deepen our understanding of the solidarity that exist among Africans, this kind of solidarity exhibited by feeling for one another could be harnessed for the development of the African continent and individual families. Thus, the fight against terrorism should be a collective affair, since if one is not affected directly, he or she could be affected indirectly through the fear of it.

Keywords: Risk perception, fear, terrorist, risk amplification, heuristics

AJOL African Journals Online