Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
William M. P. Klein & Jennifer L. Cerully
The term risk appraisal refers to an evaluation of the chances that a future event may occur. Similar terms include risk assessment, risk perception, perceived likelihood , and perception of vulnerability. One might appraise the risk of globally significant events (e.g., terrorism, natural disasters) as well as those that are personally relevant (e.g., losing a child, developing a disease). People's beliefs about risk influence a wide variety of decisions and behaviors in many life domains including careers, relationships, and health. As examples, college students are relatively less likely to choose careers in which the chances of getting a job are low, and women are unlikely to get mammographies if they do not feel at risk for breast cancer. If risk appraisals are incorrect, they may lead to faulty decision making and counterproductive behavior, necessitating the development of strategies to correct these appraisals. Laypeople evaluate risk very differently than experts A ...