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Risk Perception: More of Mind than of Math
on June 17, 2014
In twenty-seven chapters the authors discuss various aspects of risk in our daily lives – from birth to old age. One such topic is addressed per chapter. Each chapter begins with a page or two of fiction in which the same characters interact in some situation that helps to introduce the reader to the particular topic about to be discussed.
Although many numbers are quoted in this book – including some on probability - no actual math is presented regarding how they were derived. The reason for this is that in most cases, the numbers were quoted from tabulations, e.g., number of people of a certain age group killed due to some activity in a certain country in a certain time period. Much space is devoted towards psychology, perception, mind games, etc., pertaining to various risks. Number comparisons are consistently made between the United Kingdom and the USA.
I found this book to contain a lot of information. I did have a bit of trouble following some of the fictional sections at the beginning of the chapters, i.e., several terms and phrases used were much more British than North American thus requiring me to re-read several paragraphs (while scratching my head). Otherwise, the prose is clear, friendly, lively and engaging.
This book can be enjoyed by any interested reader in search of risk-related data. However, I believe that psychology enthusiasts may wind up enjoying it the most.