Lecture notes from a RAND Social Science Department seminar, October 1979. To understand how psychologists talk about risk, what is meant by "risk" and by "psychological approach" are first defined. Following these definitions, an overview is provided of the general philosophy, technical orientation and methodology of the major schools of psychological approaches to risk. These approaches will all turn out to be variations of classical expected utility models. Finally, social psychological suggestions are made as to new conceptualizations of types of risk that are necessary for an intelligent study of social policy in uncertain environments.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.