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Target Risk 2: A New Psychology of Safety and Health Paperback – March 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0969912439 ISBN-10: 0969912439 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Pde Pubns; 2nd edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0969912439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0969912439
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #410,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Any attempt to answer whether we are implementing the right safety measures must address the controversial issue of "risk homeostasis." -- Ivan D. Brown, Medical Research Council, Cambridge, England<br /><br />Any attempt to answer whether we are implementing the right safety measures must address the controversial issue of "risk homeostasis." -- Ivan D. Brown, Medical Research Council, Cambridge, England<br /><br />The basic idea of risk homeostasis has been laid out brilliantly by the Canadian psychologist Gerald Wilde. -- Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker<br /><br />Wilde is to be congratulated for carefully and explicitly setting out a fascinating theory of risk-taking behaviour. --Paul Slovic and Baruch Fischhoff, Decision Research, Eugene, Oregon<br /><br />The basic idea of risk homeostasis has been laid out brilliantly by the Canadian psychologist Gerald Wilde. -- Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker<br /><br />Wilde is to be congratulated for carefully and explicitly setting out a fascinating theory of risk-taking behaviour. --Paul Slovic and Baruch Fischhoff, Decision Research, Eugene, Oregon

From the Publisher

PDE Publications/Drivers.com chose to publish this revised and expanded edition because of the huge success of the first book, Target Risk. Dr. Wilde's theory and arguments are even more relevant today, in a world that has a new sense of risk and risk taking behaviour.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris Stolz on August 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Wilde here expands on the ideas first presented in the 1994 first edition of TARGET RISK, namely, "risk homeostasis."

Risk homeostasis is the process by which human beings maintain a more-or-less constant level of (perceived) exposure to risk.

In a famous experiment in the 1950s, an English psychologist monitored galvanic skin response in drivers as they drove through a loop of London streets. He measured the risks drivers took (the "perceived level of danger" inherent in things like passing, speed, rapidity of lange changes, acceleration, braking etc) and found that drivers maintained a fairly steady "rate" of risk taking as measured as a function of time spend driving. In other words, during "safe" sections of road (wide, straight) drivers drove faster and took more maneuvering risks. In more dangerous sections (curvy, more traffic, etc) drivers drove more slowly. The key, however, was that drivers maintained a steady state of exposure to risk.

In another well known experiment, in 1977 the government of B.C., Canada instituted a crackdown on drunk driving. The crackdown lowered the rate of alcohol-caused accidents by about 25%, but during the six-month crackdown other types of accidents ROSE by 25%. Risk hoemeostasis would say that as people saw their (and others') driving risks due to alcohol reduced, they took more risks elsewhere.

Wilde's work investigated this idea and develops it into the theory of "risk homeostasis," which holds that people have a "risk target" of dangerous behaviours. When they reduce risky behaviour in one area (e.g. they start to wear seatbelts to increase the accident survival rate) they increase it in another (driving faster and more aggressively) to maintain a constant level of risk.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jabawoki on August 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
I sent for this book as part of my MSc in Health & Safety. What a joy to read the views of someone better qualified than me who sang from the same hymn book as me! This book talks about risk taking behaviour in the context of risk homeostasis and risk displacement and linking it in with road safety measures worldwide. This book is highly relevant to H & S professionals from all industries and service sectors, as the concepts given can be applied anywhere. You can even apply them to your own driver behaviour - you'll be surprised at the result! This has to be one of the few academic books that have not had me snoring within 3 minutes of attempting to read it - fascinating throughout! Some readers from the more conventional schools of thought may be irritated by the "one sidedness" of the views expressed here, but they are founded on 30 years of data. This book really should reach a much wider audience, especially those in Government. May I also recommend the book Risk by John Adams?
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By Ron Hendriks on February 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book of Gerald Wilde is a must read for anyone involved in traffic safety. It explains why some measures, like ABS systems or airbags, don't work the way you expect. People will drive faster and more dangerous, knowing about these safety measures, is the basic line. You may disagree with some of his views, but it will almost certainly change the way you think about traffic safety....
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