"The concept of risk perception is often considered under suspicion by natural scientists. Both the work on the cognitive/perceptual bias of the probabilistic information processing strategies - as promoted by the so called psychometric paradigm (Fischhoff et al., 1978; Slovic, 1987; Tversky & Kahneman, 1974) - and work on the utility of different views of risk to different social groups - promoted by a more social constructionist approach (Douglas & Wildawsky, 1982; Heimer, 1978; Joffe, 1999) provided a confirmation to the basic assumption of the "misinformed public" (Cvetkovich & Earle, 1992). However, the evidence of the cognitive and socially constructed character of risk perception is, by no means, a vindication of the inconsequence of those beliefs. In this paper we develop the idea that risk perception per se can modify the quality of life of those living under suspicion of objective risk."