The people of the 16th century used the words rischio and riezgo to define the impact of threats and losses they suffered (Franklin, 2004). During those periods, the risk was only associated with the loss of property and misfortune. The term has remained in the phase of constant evolution and transition. People have associated the term with anything that made an adverse impact on their lives. Theories of Risk and Critical Evaluation: The role of uncertainty in the process of decision making is difficult to understand. People are always observed experiencing uncertainty similarly like they experience risk in their daily lives.
According to Breakwell (2007), uncertainty in risk is the most expected certainty to encounter. Risk has become an integral part which affects all our decisions from encountering environmental risk to health risk and relationship risk (Leiserowitz, 2007). There are different theories related to risk and at the same time, there are different approaches to assess risk and to manage it according to the situation. Cultural theory has provided an essential framework for different groups in a society to understand the concept of risk, hazardous situations and to build their trust or distrust in people who are responsible to produce and control risk.
Cultural theory enables a person to interpret the level of risk on the basis of his judgment. These judgments are dependent on social background. Institutions still find it critical to define the rights of an individual to know about the impending danger or risk, justice for the victims, blame, responsibility and accountability. Cultural theory develops risk perception in the minds of individuals and groups especially for health-related risks that explores different opinions of the people about the knowledge of institutions and authorities dealing with risk, their professional reliability and uprightness, their approach to assess risk and what techniques they use to mitigate the effects of risk (Tansey and Riordan, 1999).
This is the widely criticized theory as discussed by the researchers which explain little on an individual’ s decision-making process. However, on the other hand, expected value theory argues that decisions made by an individual depend on how a person perceives the outcomes from the choices. It provides a comprehensive benefits analysis that revolves around an individual is likely to make such a decision which yields them greater benefits or expected value.
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