The Landscape of Risk Perception Research: A Scientometric Analysis

Floris Goerlandt, Jie Li, G.L.L.M.E. Reniers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Risk perception is important in organizational and societal governance contexts. This article presents a high-level analysis of risk perception research using Web of Science core collection databases, scientometrics methods and visualization tools. The focus is on trends in outputs, geographical and temporal trends, and patterns in the associated scientific categories. Thematic clusters and temporal dynamics of focus topics are identified using keyword analysis. A co-citation analysis is performed to identify the evolution of research fronts and key documents. The results indicate that research output is growing fast, with most contributions originating from western countries. The domain is highly interdisciplinary, rooted in psychology and social sciences, but branching into domains related to environmental sciences, medicine, and engineering. Significant research themes focus on perceptions related to health, with a focus on cancer, human immunodeficiency virus, and epidemiology, natural hazards and major disasters, traffic accidents, technological and industrial risks, and customer trust. Risk perception research originated from consumer choice decisions, with subsequent research fronts focusing on understanding the risk perception concept, and on developing taxonomies and measurement methods. Applied research fronts focus on environmental hazards, traffic accidents, breast cancer and, more recently, e-commerce transactions and flood risk. Based on the results, various avenues for future research are described.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13188
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bibliometrics
  • CiteSpace
  • Perceived risk
  • Perception of risk
  • Risk perception
  • Scientometrics
  • VOSviewer


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