This study examines differences between the level of objective knowledge regarding radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) and risk perception of cell phones in Korea. We also investigate the extent to which socio-demographic factors, perceived EMF exposure, objective knowledge regarding EMF, and psychological factors influence the risk perception of cell phones using hierarchical multiple regression. All 3393 study subjects completed a survey measuring the degree of risk perception of EMF. They were sampled in accordance with representative proportions of sex, age group, and region of residence as shown in the 2019 Resident Registration Population Statistics reported by Korea. The variables that have the most influence on risk perception of cell phones can be induced from the beta values for each variable: The subjective factor, perceived level of exposure to EMF (β = 0.253), was more strongly related to risk perception of cell phones than level of knowledge regarding EMF, an objective factor in this study. Of the psychological factors, Dreadfulness (β = 0.331), Personal knowledge (β = −174), and Familiarity (β = −089) influenced risk perceptions of cell phones; Controllability did not. On the risk cognition map, people though that it was easy to control risk related to Cell phone use in daily life, while risk related to High technology was uncontrollable.
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