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How Risky Is It, Really?: Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts Hardcover – 1 Apr 2010
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7/10 [Ropeik's] book explains how [we are lead] to make mistakes when assessing risk... including lots of entertaining quizzes. --BA Business Life, July 2010
About the Author
David Ropeik is an international consultant and widely sought-after public speaker on risk perception and risk communication. Ropeik is an instructor at the Harvard University Extension School's Environmental Management Program and taught risk perception and risk communication at Harvard School of Public Heath (2000-2006). He was a commentator on risk for NPR Morning Edition program and has been a guest host for NPR's “The Connection.” He has written articles about risk perception for The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, LA Times, and The Boston Globe, and Nova among others.
Top customer reviews
David Ropeik doesn't introduce the following way of doing risk analysis; he discusses how we as humans handle risks and more importantly gives clues to come to a beter risk understanding.
Though it might be a bit disappointing; no flashy methods here, but things we already know: be informed, think for yourself etc. On the other: we should expect 'silver bullets' here; there are none.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book points out how the "perception gap" can be harmful: individuals continue risky behavior unaware, while over-worrying about the
wrong things; public policy is shaped by self-interested or ideological pressure groups, or by public opinion driven by scaremongering media.
There are suggestions for you as an individual on how to identify and counteract these psychological risk factors. The book concludes with a
discussion of the public policy aspect of risk communication. It is hopeless to try to impose some purely rational cost-benefit analysis on
the public, rather one should start by taking these predictable psychological factors into account.
All these points are discussed via entertaining real examples. So the book deserves 5 stars for significant interesting content not readily
found elsewhere. My only quibble is that the people who will read this book are probably those predisposed to rational analysis, not the ones who might benefit most.
The first few chapters had some really exceptional material on risk & neurobiology that I enjoyed quite a lot, which is why I don't give this 1 star. Overall, the content of this book that was interesting to me could have been presented in a work maybe 1/5 of the length.
Interesting stuff on neurobiology in first & second chapter
Provided good definitions for terms to help discuss topic
Often repetitive & overly wordy. Could have used some significant editing
Good portion of the book simply controversial examples & author's opinion on what's right/wrong.
Occasional typos scattered throughout (found 3, and I'm no student of grammar)
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