Risk perception is the tendency for people to have different dramatically estimates of risk probability and impact given the same information. The following are examples of things that are known to impact risk perception.
OutlookGeneral personality factors such as pessimism and optimism.A tendency to overrate risks when you're jealous. For example, coworkers may overrate the risks of an ambitious employee taking on significant responsibilities.
Ambiguity Overrating risks that involve many unknowns. For example, a developer may overrate risks involving a technology with which they are unfamiliar.
False AnalogyInaccurately reducing a complex risk to a simple one using an analogy. Basing risk assessments on the survivors in a situation and ignoring failures. For example, an entrepreneur may look at the success of a small number of firms without considering the hundreds of firms that failed on a similar mission.
Reducing risk estimates dramatically after trying something once. For example, hang gliding may seem less risky after surviving once.Inaccurate perceptions of risk because you're too close to the situation. For example, an operations team may see hundreds of problems with a project and assume it has no chance of success without seeing that such problems are common and projects often succeed anyway.
Magical AssumptionsViewing a new technology or business approach as magic. For example, assuming that a technology can solve problems without understanding why or how.
Motivated ReasoningEstimating risk in order to support what you want to do. For example, an entrepreneur who is excited about a new business strategy may underestimate risk.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about risks.
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A complete guide to risk analysis.
The common ways to model risk probability.
A definition of qualitative risk analysis with an example.
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The definition of what-if analysis with examples.
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A definition of risk exposure with example calculations.
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The common types of risk impact.
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Overview of the steps in a risk management process.
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