This research explores the use of psychometric techniques to improve understanding of psychological mechanisms underlying judgment of excreta as fertilizer in agriculture including other excreta related activities. Participants consisted of environmental health students, smallholder farmers and traders in rural and urban Rwanda and Uganda. The finding reveals an inverse relationship between risk and benefit judgments. This relationship holds for the three groups of participants with significant risk-benefit correlations of p<.0001. This finding is consistent with other studies showing that affect plays a key role in risk perception, judgment and decision making.Building on this finding, we conclude that individuals with high risk and low benefit judgment for excreta related practices would eschew them or emphasize strict standards. Individuals with a high benefit and low risk judgment would engage in excreta management practices regardless of the actual risks involved. This finding is relevant for risk communication and risk management as it indicates that individuals do not rely only on risk management information they receive concerning excreta and related risks but also depend to an extent on their feelings about these substances when making judgments and decisions regarding the purpose for using excreta as fertilizer and the level of exposure they can tolerate and manage.
Funding also from: Kungl. Skogs och Lantbruksakademien (H10-0233-ADA-01).
Travel grants were also provided by Stiftelsen Futura.