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Acceptable Risk Paperback – March 1, 1984

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition (March 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521278929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521278928
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #981,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'A brief summary cannot do justice to the depth and breadth of the analysis laid out in Acceptable Risk ... [The authors] have achieved a masterly systematization of the many practical, methodological, and philosophical problems raised by attempts to answer the question, "how safe is safe enough?"' Nature

' ... the best critical exposition of ways to think about risks ... ends with many sensible recommendations ...' Ian Hacking, The New York Review of Books

Book Description

The authors offer a new framework for decisions about risks and make recommendations for research, for public policy and for practice. Although their principal focus is on technological hazards, their analysis is applicable to other risks, such as those from new medical treatments or innovative programs in criminal justice.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. G. Heiser on April 29, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant and stimulating book. Although it nominally concerns itself with the area of hazard management, policy and technology choices associated with loss of life or limb, it provides a great deal of insight into all forms of risk management and formal decision making.
A very well-researched book, it is obvious that the authors have not only thought long and hard about the subject matter, but have also applied a very disciplined analysis to it. Although the authors are scholars, the book is not necessarily aimed at an academic audience. While challenging, it is still approachable by the lay person.
The text does not recommend any particular methodology for decision making, but instead provides a context within which different decision making methods can be understood and evaluated. It begins by analyzing the problems confronting all acceptable risk decisions, discussing '5 generic complexities' that negatively affect all forms of formal risk analysis. Then the authors provide '7 criteria for evaluating the acceptability of approaches to acceptable risk.' The remainder of the book is spent analyzing approaches to risk management on a spectrum of empirical to formal methods, using their 7 criteria.
I found it an extremely enlightening text with applicability beyond that stated by the authors. It sheds light on many of the 'formal' methods that have been developed for areas of concern to me, specifically in the Information Security field, which often tends towards voodoo analysis based on unstated assumptions and incomplete methodologies. Although it was written over 20 years ago, it still provides a great deal of utility and insight today.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
I read this monograph years ago and lent it to someone who obviously found it equally fascinating because I've never had it back. If risk is a theme in your work, the ideas in Fischoff and Lichtenstein's book are worth reading. They offer explanations and analysis which seem to match how real people and organisations take risk decisions.END
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