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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2011
Fischhoff is a leading light in the field and takes a Decision Theory approach to the topic. I found little padding and a lot of ground was covered to a good level of detail given the spatial constraints. The references are a good guide on to leading authors and research.

This is a physically small book that runs to only 150 pages, so some explanations are a little terse and the content can be a little dense. However, any general reader with an interest in risk will get a lot of value from it; and anyone at an early stage of developing an interest in risk as a topic will find it useful.

The content is split into seven roughly equal size chapters covering risk decisions, making risk decisions, definitions, risk analysis, risk perception, risk communication and risk culture in society. Kadvany manages to keep Fischhoff from descending into academic-speak, so the text is mostly accessible even if the discussions are rigorous.

Overall a good, short book that has encouraged me to look at some other titles in the Oxford University Press "A Very Short Introduction" series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2013
The book takes quite a narrow "decision theory" view of risk, and if that's all you're after it's great. If you want something broader then in my opinion this book has too much management speak in it, asking obvious questions like "Is something wrong with people, or the rules of rationality?" and statements of common sense rewritten to be unintelligible but more pretentious, "intuitions are often guided by heuristics that allow imperfect, boundedly rational answers to questions when people lack needed knowledge or decision-making resources." At the same time it almost completely ignores several topics that fall under the heading risk, shying away almost entirely from any financial or mathematical terms or uses. Only 150 pages, but I still felt it was a waste of my time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2013
This is an accessible, lively, interesting review of risk and its social meaning through the ages and in the contemporary world. It expresses the view that, '...risks provide windows into how societies express and define themselves.' It examines risk decisions, risk perception and communication and much else with great clarity and intelligence. Full of real-life dilemmas (medicines, food safety, ecological issues, climate, sex education) it's a brilliant introduction to the subject for anyone and a stimulating revision text for those already familiar with the topic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2013
I love these series of books - super useful as a platform to kick off reading about a topic. Very handy, great introduction to the topic.
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on 17 September 2013
This is one of a number of vsis written by an American. It is thus inevitably slightly American-centered and although not so bad as some, occasionally wanders off into sentimental nonsense and politically correct territory. As those moments are few I will refrain from saying what I otherwise might.

So what have I learned? That despite 150 pages of text, common sense is the best guide. Consider the 21.1 fl oz of Fresh Single Cream before me. I am told that 30 ml (whatever that is) contains 60 calories which is 3% of my recommended daily intake thereof. How on earth is that fact of any practical assistance?
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on 13 January 2015
Excellent
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