Risk assessment as a subjective process

by Ralph E. Strauch


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Most extant approaches to risk assessment stress methodological and procedural solutions to the problem, in part because method and procedure are viewed as bulwarks against the fallibilities and limitations of human judgment. This paper examines the other side of that coin, the use of judgment and intuition as bulwarks against the fallibilities and limitations of formal methodology. Those limitations are described, and capabilities which judgment and intuition provide to compensate for them discussed. The paper calls for a greater synthesis of judgment and methodology, in which they aid and support each other instead of competing.

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