Real vs Perceived Risk

Real vs Perceived Risk

Risk boardgame cannon unit
Image via Wikipedia

Interesting post on Seth Godin‘s blog entitled Apparent Risk and Actual Risk which talks about how people can perceive situations as being more risky than they actually are, and sometimes end up choosing to go down more risky paths just because of this perception.

So, what drives this perception. I put it down to two different factors. First of all, it’s easy to overlook certain factors when performing your personal “risk evaluation”. Assumptions and ignorance are the worst two factors here and can lead to a shortfall in evaluation. The other problem is jumping on the bandwagon and accepting “common knowledge”. It’s amazing how many misconceptions make their way to the mainstream; one of my favourites is that celery is a natural fat burner because it consumes more calories to digest than it contains.

Anyway, morale of the story. Next time you think about a “risky” decision, look at if from a different angle and check whether it’s really risky.

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