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Psychology of risk
ISBN: 978-0-521-00445-9

Internal News - 04 December 2007

New book explores the psychology of risk

A new book that provides a comprehensive exploration of the psychology of risk has been written by Professor Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath.

Drawing on current knowledge of the subject, the book examines how individuals think, feel and act about risks. It also considers how institutions and society assess and react to risk, and the rhetoric used to describe it.

The book is useful for people who are studying the latest methods of risk analysis, and also those professionals who wish to know how to better manage risk or communicate about it.

The book, which is published by Cambridge University Press, draws on many examples, such as MMR and Chernobyl, to bring to life the significance of the research findings.

It features chapters on the major issues in the psychology of risk, including risk assessment, hazard perception, decision-making, risk and crisis management, risk communication and changing risk responses.

“Risk has been the arena for some of the most interesting debates in the social sciences of recent years,” writes Professor Breakwell, a psychologist who specialises in leadership, identity processes, risk communication and military cultures.

“Risk surrounds and envelopes us. Without understanding it we risk everything and without capitalising upon it we gain nothing.

“Examining the research on the psychology of risk proves that we are still very far from understanding all that we need to know about this important topic.

“In presenting what is known, it becomes only too clear that there are many fascinating questions still to be answered.”