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English

Risk

The definition of risk carries several different points that must be present for the full definition. For a thing to be considered risk it must mean something bad will happen if the risk action takes place. It must also mean being exposed to the risk action. Something is not a risk to a person if they never encounter it. So because a particular thing or action may cause a bad reaction, it is not a risk if no one is in danger. The idea of what is bad, or more of a risk than others, is also hard to define. People have different risk perceptions. Many risk perception factors and patterns have been identified to account for why the public does not rate risks the same as the experts do. The level of exposure a person has to a risk, the higher the perception of risk there is. For example, the article uses the idea of a shark attack. For someone surfing in Florida the risk perceived of a shark attack is much more than a person farming in Kansas. Factors affecting risk perception can be how new the risk is in society, if the risk is present naturally or man-made, if the risk was taken on voluntarily or not, and how directly one is affected by the risk. Because the public and experts rate risk differently, risk assessment and management is not always an easy process. Risk assessment is a calculation that gives a dollar amount to all factors involved, including human life. If the costs to prevent a risk outweigh the benefits of eliminating the risk, then the risk is left in place. Unless activists are able to sway opinion in their direction enough, since it’s been shown that even in risk assessment and management biases are present.