Types of risk

March 14, 1997

The significance of making a distinction between three types of risk: directly perceived risk, risk perceived through science and virtual risk, can be explained with the help of a model which postulates that:

everyone has a propensity to take risks this propensity varies from one individual to another the propensity is influenced by the potential rewards of risk-taking perceptions of risk are influenced by the experience of accident losses individual risk-taking decisions represent a balancing act in which perceptions of risk are weighed against propensity to take risks accident losses are, by definition, a consequence of taking risks; the more risks one takes, the greater, on average, will be both the rewards and losses.

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