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Summary Risk: a short introduction

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A snapshot of the summary - Risk: a short introduction

  • 1 Risk decisions

  • 1.1 A simple scheme

  • Risks threaten things we value, what we do about them depends on:
    • The options we have (undergo surgery)
    • The outcomes we value (get well)
    • The beliefs about the outcomes that might follow, if we choose each option
  • Decision theory looks at choices from three complementary perspectives:
    • Logical, normative analysis if we were fully informed etc. (if we knew everything) --> organizing the relevant facts
    • Descriptive study of the necessarily imperfect ways in which we make actual choices --> seeing where people need help
    • Prescriptive interventions, trying to bridge the gap between the normative ideal and the descriptive reality --> providing that help
  • 1.9 Integrative framework (PP)

  • Stages of the integrative framework:
    1. Pre-assessment
    2. Risk appraisal: risk and concern management, including assessment of risk decisions
    3. Risk evaluation
    4. Risk management
    5. (cross-cutting-aspects)
  • Why do a risk assessment?

    •Stakeholders perceive significant risks
    •New factors have introduced new hazards or routes of exposure
    •Different stakeholders conflict in their risk perceptions
    •Objective risks appear high (e.g., an accident or near-accident has occurred)
    •More knowledge is likely to significantly improve effective interventions
    •(or others)
  • 2 Defining risk

  • Defining risks clearly enough to measure them means bringing value issues into relief, there are two ways to gain insight into those issues:
    • Look carefully in the values embedded in possible definitions
    • Observe what people implicitly or explicitly value when they make judgements and decisions about risks

  • Defining risk means specifying a way of framing a possible outcome. We can do this in two ways:

    •Look at what definitions/ units of measurement of a risk are used.
    •Look at data about risk decisions and risk perception.
  • 2.2 Revealed preferences for risk-benefit trade-offs

  • Society defines risk as (Starr):
    deaths per hour as exposure to a hazard
  • Society defines benefit as (Starr):
    economic activity per person involved with it
  • In the Vietnam war, Americans found the risks acceptable, why? (Starr)
    • People making the decisions, saw risk, benefit and voluntarily as Starr did
    • they saw each hazard having the same degree of RBV as he did
    • they found the trade-off acceptable
  • 2.3 Dimensions of risk

  • A statistical procedure found two dimensions underlying the nine attributes:
    Hazards high on the vertical dimension: are seen as relatively involuntary
    Hazards high on the horizontal dimension: are seen as relatively catastrophically when something goes wrong
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