Examining the Role of Trust in Regulators in Food Safety Risk Assessment : A Cross-regional Analysis of Three Chinese Societies Using an Integrative Framework

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Journal / PublicationSAGE Open
Issue number4
Online published23 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021



Considerable efforts have been made to depict the causal patterns of trust, risk perception, and risk acceptance. Yet, it remains far from clear whether the established models are over-simplistic and to what extent the observed associations are contingent upon risk contexts. Extending the theorizing based on the Causal Chain model, this study adopts a comparative approach to examining the role of trust in regulators in the case of post-Fukushima food imports in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Taiwan. Consistent with the proposed integrative framework, all three samples exhibited indirect relationships between trust in regulators and behavioral intentions through two types of risk perception (affective and cognitive risk perceptions) and risk acceptance. Findings showed that risk acceptance was the most prominent mediator in explaining the extended model and supported the necessity of distinguishing risk acceptance and behavioral intention as two self-contained constructs working in sequence. Moreover, trust in regulators showed the strongest predictivity in behavioral intentions in the Mainland China sample, while risk perception played a more important role in explaining outcome variables in the Hong Kong and Taiwan samples. In addition to contributing to theory building by presenting the external validity of the integrative framework across different political and food regulatory systems, the study demonstrates practical implications for regulatory authorities and risk communicators.

Research Area(s)

  • behavioral intention, food safety, regulator, risk perception, trust

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