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Risk en c! Decision Making: Perspectives and Research Committee on Risk and Decision Making Assembly of Behavioral and Social Sciences National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1982

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Re- search Council, whose members are drawn from the coun- cils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with re- gard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineer- ing, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advis- ing the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respec- tively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences.

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COMMITTEE ON RISK AND DECISION MAKING HOWARD RAIFFA (Chair), Graduate School of Business, Harvard University A. RARIM ARMED, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., New York DAVID COHEN, Common Cause, Washington, D.C. JAMES S. COLEMAN, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago ROBERT W. KATES, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University *CHARLES E. LINDBLOM, Institute for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University GLENN C. LOWRY, Department of Economics, University of Michigan ROY RADNER, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc., Murray Hill, N.J. (December 1979-June 1981) WILLIAM D. RUCKELSHAUS, Weyerhauser Corporation, Tacoma, Wash. JACK P. RUINA, Department of Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology PETER SCHUCK, Law School, Yale University EILEEN SERENE, Department of Philosophy, Yale University AMOS TVERSKY, Department of Psychology, Stanford University JAMES H. WAPE, School of Public Health, Harvard University RICHARD WILSON, Energy and Environmental Center, Harvard University ROSALYN YALOW, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y. JAMES W. VAUPEL, Study Director JOHN D. GRAHAM, Staff Associate *Charles E. Eindblom does not approve this report .

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CONU:NTS PREFACE PERSPECTIVES ON RISK AND DECISION MAKING Increased Longevity and Rising Public Concern About Risk, 1 Some Pass ible Interpretations, 3 Ri sk Pe rcept ion, 11 Ri sk-Generat ing and Ri sk-Coping Proces s es, 14 line Roles of Science and Analysis, 27 Two Aspects of Risk Analysis: Assessment and Evaluation, 31 The Role of Scientists and Scientific Institutions, 39 Some Issues in Risk Assessment, 41 RESEARCH ON RISK AND DEC ISION MAKING Actual and Perceived Risks, 51 Generation of Risks, 55 Coping With Risks, 56 Risk Analysis, 61 Synthes i z ing Ri sk As s es sments, 6 3 REFERENCES v V11 1 47 67 ;

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PREFACE The Committee on Risk and Decision Making was estab- lished in late 1979, by the Assembly of Behavioral and Social Sciences of the National Research Council, at the request of the National Science Foundation's Technology Assessment and Risk Analysis program (NSF-TARA). This program supports external research and conducts internal staff policy analyses on the implications of implement- ing new technologies and on questions of technological risk. These activities are carried out, in part, in response to a request from the House Committee on Sci- ence and Technology that the NSF develop a program of systematic research on comparative risk analysis (U.S. Congress, House, 19793. The NSF asked the committee to prepare a report that would aid in designing a program of research on risk analysis. In considering such a program of research, however, it became evident to the committee that a framework was needed to clarify the suggested research and its eventual utility. It also became evident to the committee that, since risk analysis is an interdisci- plinary enterprise, a broad survey of the intent and breadth of risk analysis would be helpful in assessing the proposed issues for research. Hence, in the first section of the report the committee has provided a taxonomy of risks, an explication of the mechanisms for generating risks and for coping with them, and a discus- sion of the role of scientists and of professional ana- lysts in conducting formal analyses of risk issues for decision makers. The immediate purpose of this report, then, is not to provide formal policy recommendations; nor is it to offer analyses and judgments on specific risk issues. Hence, the reader will not find in this report apprais- als of the comparative risks of coal and nuclear power, of different tests for carcinogens in foods, or of using different pesticides--all classic and chronic issues in risk assessment and evaluation. Rather, the report's purpose is to provide an agenda for research to NSF and e ~ V11

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viii to synthesize the burgeoning field of risk analysis for decision makers in business, government, and other or zanizations, for interested lay people, and for specialists interested in issues and concepts outside their professional domains. This report was prepared within limited time and budget. mat it was done at all is due most immediately to the members of the committee who attended several meetings, including a three-day retreat, and who wrote drafts and reviewed those of others. A committee by its nature requires the assistance of others, and we were extremely fortunate in the number and extreme competence of those who assisted us. James W. Vaupel, study direc tor, and John D. Graham, staff associate, had major roles in drafting the report and in capturing and en larging the concepts and insights generated by committee members. The committee was also extremely fortunate in the comments we received via informal workshops and in response to a questionnaire from public interest groups, government officials, business and labor groups, and the scientific community. We would also like to acknowledge with gratitude the valuable services of our research assistants: Joseph Adamchic, Alfred Drummond, Robert Field, Steven Goodman, David Kahne, and Stephen Romey. We also thank the administrative staff who worked on the project, especially Yvonne Cassells, Bobbie Gordon, and Vera Lewis. The staff of the Assembly of Behavioral and Social Sciences, David A. Goslin, executive director, Heidi I. Hartmann, associate executive director, Eugenia Grohman, associate director for reports, and their col- leagues, especially Ann Polvinale, Sarah Streuli, and Elaine McGarraugh, provided us with invaluable assis- tance. Norman Metzger, of the National Research Coun- cil's Office of Information, rewrote and reorganized parts or Ends report and made it considerably more coherent and readable. We deeply appreciate his ef- forts. Joshua Menkes and Vincent Covello of NSF-TARA generously supported this project and provided much useful guidance and input. Hundreds of individuals contributed to this report in various ways; although we cannot acknowledge all of them here, we would like to thank them for their help. Howard Raiffa, Chair Committee on Risk and Decision Making