Posted on August 11, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |



In the past, several researchers in the judgment and decision making field have reviewed and updated past decision analysis theories; one of these revisions comes from a group of researchers who have titled their article: Risk-based Decision Analysis in Support of Precautionary Policies. In this article, researchers reviewed a specific decision making technique discussed by T. Page, a research scientist whose notable paper was published in 1978. His critique of the “expected-value approach” model has been praised by researchers for decades.

In this theory, Page enforces the statistical cautionary approach that we have been discussing, in which Page states that it is inadequate to “assume that new technologies and products are safe and beneficial until proven otherwise.” (p. 393). By presuming this, researchers think a decision maker will become naïve and complacent in their judgment making.

Page specifically suggested three other modifications to the expected-value approach: first, “he argued that consideration of social risk aversion implies greater restrictions on risky activities.” (p.393) secondly, “decision-makers should consider postponing taking actions that may result in irreversible negative outcomes…” (p. 393). And finally, Page argues that the original expected-value approach “ignores the distribution of costs and benefits, particularly when the costs and benefits occur at different times.” (p. 393).

Through his alterations of the theory, researchers agree with Page that, we must consider the social implications of our decisions as well as the benefits and costs presently and in the future.


Text Credit: DeKay, M., Small, M., Fischbeck, P., Farrow, R., Cullen, A., Kadane, J., Lave, L., Morgan, M., Takemura, K., Risk-based Decision Analysis in Support of Precautionary Policies, Journal of Risk Research 5 (4), 391-397, 2002.


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