Lecture10 - Risk Assessment and Management Lecture 10: Risk...

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1 Risk Assessment and Management Lecture 10: Risk Perception Why study risk perception? To examine the judgements people make when they are asked to characterize and evaluate hazardous activities and technologies . This is to aid risk analysis and policy making by: • providing a basis for undestanding and anticipating public responses to hazards improving the communication of risk information among lay people, technical experts and decision makers.
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2 What is the advantage of studying risk perception? Without understanding how people think about and respond to risk well intended policies may be ineffective . What is new? The profound development of chemical and nuclear technologies has been accompanied by the potential to cause catastrophic and long lasting damage to the earth and the life forms that inhabit it. •The mechanisms underlying these complex technologies are unfamiliar and incomprehensible to most citizens. •Their harmful consequences are rare and often delayed hence difficult to assess by statistical analysis and not well suited to management by trial-and-error learning.
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3 What is new? As a result a new discipline emerged – risk assessment, designed to aid in identifying, characterizing and quantifying risk. • But the majority of citizens rely on intuitive risk judgements typically called risk perceptions . • For these people, experience with hazards tends to come from the news media ,which rather throughly document mishaps and treats occuring throughout the world. • The dominant perception for most Americans (excluding experst) is that they face more risk today than in the past and that future risks will be even greater than todays . What is new? 77.1 80.9 69.9 74 2000 72.5 78.1 63.8 70.7 1980 62.7 72.0 58.9 66.3 1950 35.0 51.1 32.5 48.2 1900 Black Female White Female Black Male White Male Year Life expectancies in United States
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4 What is new? 4 40 13 43 Federal Regulators 2 - 1 1 Not sure 14 19 26 24 Same 6 26 13 36 Less risk 78 55 60 38 More risk Public Congress Investors Lendors Top Corporate Executives Thinking about the actual amount of risk facing our society would you say that people are subject to more risk today than they were twenty years ago, less risk today, or about the same risk today as twenty years ago? What is new? How extra ordinary! The richest, longest lived, best protected, most resourceful civilization, with the highest degree of insight into its own technology is on its way to becoming the most frightened. Is it our environment or ourselves that have changed? Would people like us have had this sort of concern in the past? Today, there are risks from numerous small dams for exceeding those from nuclear reactors why is the one feared and not the other? Is it just that we are used to the old or are some of us looking differently of essentially the same sorts of experience?
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5 Concern for risk is increasing • Public concern seems in contradiction to the facts •Life expectancy has increased through better medical care, nutrition,
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Lecture10 - Risk Assessment and Management Lecture 10: Risk...

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