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Risk Appraisal

  • By: William M. P. Klein & Jennifer L. Cerully
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

The term risk appraisal refers to an evaluation of the chances that a future event may occur. Similar terms include risk assessment, risk perception, perceived likelihood, and perception of vulnerability. One might appraise the risk of globally significant events (e.g., terrorism, natural disasters) as well as those that are personally relevant (e.g., losing a child, developing a disease). People's beliefs about risk influence a wide variety of decisions and behaviors in many life domains including careers, relationships, and health. As examples, college students are relatively less likely to choose careers in which the chances of getting a job are low, and women are unlikely to get mammographies if they do not feel at risk for breast cancer. If risk appraisals are incorrect, they may lead ...

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