PERCEIVED RISK AND CONSUMER DECISION MAKING
ABSTRACT The home economist has long been interested in effective family and consumer decision making and has tended to take a holistic or macro approach to decision theory. Recently, some applications of normative decision theory to consumer decision making—including the creation of rules for dealing with risk and uncertainty—have been advanced in home management textbooks. Since the early 1960s, consumer behaviour researchers in other disciplines have been developing a behavioural, micro-decision perspective centring upon the presence of perceived risk in the purchase decision of any customer. The empirical literature in home economics does not appear to have dealt with either of these perspectives. This paper identifies perceived risk as a useful analytical variable in the study of consumer product and store decisions and presents empirical data depicting the dual components of perceived risk and its four dimensions. The relationship of the normative and behavioural approaches to decision risk is discussed and implications for future research and application in home economics are identified.