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Aggregated risk : an experimental study on combining different ways of presenting risk information

Månsson, Peter LU ; Abrahamsson, Marcus LU and Tehler, Henrik LU (2017) In Journal of Risk Research
Abstract

Contemporary disaster risk management requires the exchange and integration of risk information across societal sectors and administrative borders. However, differences in how risk is described can be an obstacle to making sense of the material. This paper focuses on the challenge of aggregating risk assessments from multiple stakeholders and aims to establish the characteristics of risk descriptions that are most conducive for attaining a comprehensive understanding of risk. In an empirical study, risk management students from two different scholarly traditions (engineering and social sciences) rated how useful different combinations of risk descriptions from two fictive municipalities were for (i) comparing their levels of risk and... (More)

Contemporary disaster risk management requires the exchange and integration of risk information across societal sectors and administrative borders. However, differences in how risk is described can be an obstacle to making sense of the material. This paper focuses on the challenge of aggregating risk assessments from multiple stakeholders and aims to establish the characteristics of risk descriptions that are most conducive for attaining a comprehensive understanding of risk. In an empirical study, risk management students from two different scholarly traditions (engineering and social sciences) rated how useful different combinations of risk descriptions from two fictive municipalities were for (i) comparing their levels of risk and (ii) making decisions on risk-reducing measures in the area covered by both municipalities. Adopting a within-subjects design, the participants were faced with six different combinations of risk descriptions, which varied with respect to how specific assessments of consequences and likelihood were expressed, and whether a supporting narrative was provided. The study also explored the effects of combining risk descriptions of the same type (e.g. where both expressed consequences and probabilities with qualitative ordinal scales) with two of dissimilar types (e.g. one qualitative ordinal and one quantitative). Overall, the results indicate that disaster risk management systems would benefit from greater consistency in the way interdependent stakeholders describe risks, and from greater use of quantitative assessments. Furthermore, a supporting narrative can provide useful contextual information that may facilitate the comparison of incongruent risk descriptions. Challenges related to these findings are discussed.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
aggregation of information, narrative evidence, presentation format, Risk assessment, risk communication, whole-of-society
in
Journal of Risk Research
pages
16 pages
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • scopus:85032791020
ISSN
1366-9877
DOI
10.1080/13669877.2017.1391315
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fa4ee9b2-ec79-4d85-8a1c-a3af773e2a75
date added to LUP
2017-11-15 07:37:24
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:24:58
@article{fa4ee9b2-ec79-4d85-8a1c-a3af773e2a75,
  abstract     = {<p>Contemporary disaster risk management requires the exchange and integration of risk information across societal sectors and administrative borders. However, differences in how risk is described can be an obstacle to making sense of the material. This paper focuses on the challenge of aggregating risk assessments from multiple stakeholders and aims to establish the characteristics of risk descriptions that are most conducive for attaining a comprehensive understanding of risk. In an empirical study, risk management students from two different scholarly traditions (engineering and social sciences) rated how useful different combinations of risk descriptions from two fictive municipalities were for (i) comparing their levels of risk and (ii) making decisions on risk-reducing measures in the area covered by both municipalities. Adopting a within-subjects design, the participants were faced with six different combinations of risk descriptions, which varied with respect to how specific assessments of consequences and likelihood were expressed, and whether a supporting narrative was provided. The study also explored the effects of combining risk descriptions of the same type (e.g. where both expressed consequences and probabilities with qualitative ordinal scales) with two of dissimilar types (e.g. one qualitative ordinal and one quantitative). Overall, the results indicate that disaster risk management systems would benefit from greater consistency in the way interdependent stakeholders describe risks, and from greater use of quantitative assessments. Furthermore, a supporting narrative can provide useful contextual information that may facilitate the comparison of incongruent risk descriptions. Challenges related to these findings are discussed.</p>},
  author       = {Månsson, Peter and Abrahamsson, Marcus and Tehler, Henrik},
  issn         = {1366-9877},
  keyword      = {aggregation of information,narrative evidence,presentation format,Risk assessment,risk communication,whole-of-society},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  pages        = {16},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Journal of Risk Research},
  title        = {Aggregated risk : an experimental study on combining different ways of presenting risk information},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2017.1391315},
  year         = {2017},
}