What is risk?

Currently there is no common definition of risk. In the ordinary view, the risk is the possibility of incurring any losses in the course of actions: to lose health or even life, to lose property or financial assets, to receive less profit.

V. Dahl offered his own interpretation of this concept in the “Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language”. In his opinion, to take risks is to indulge at random, on the wrong business, on the off, to dare, to go at random, to do that without right calculation, to be exposed to chance, to act boldly, enterprisingly, hoping for happiness; be exposed to something, known danger, vicissitudes, failure.

In the “Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language” S.I. Ozhegova, risk means: 1. Possible danger. 2 Action at random in the hope of a happy outcome.

A number of other definitions can be given, which means risk, but all of them will ultimately contain almost the same characteristics inherent in this concept.

Risk properties

Any risk is always characterized by uncertainty or incomplete definiteness of the consequences of actions taken.If the future consequences could be seen as accurately and unambiguously as possible at the beginning of the activity, it would not make sense to introduce the concept of “risk”.

Any risk necessarily involves the occurrence of possible negative consequences, causing any damage. If a person does not foresee the onset of any significant negative results for himself, for society, or for the environment, one cannot say that he is at risk.

Awareness of risk. A risking person must necessarily assume a possible onset of negative consequences. If, due to any external or internal reasons, it cannot foresee the negative consequences of the activity being performed, they say that there is a threat or danger, but not a risk.

Types of risks

Different researchers identify different reasons for which risks can be classified into types.

According to the field of activity risks may be:

  • socio-political - the possibility of losing power functions, control levers, destabilization of the social situation;
  • financial and economic - the possibility of incurring economic damage and financial losses;
  • environmental - associated with adverse effects on the environment;
  • property - loss or damage of any material values;
  • risks to life and health.

The source of the risks can be objective and subjective.

Objective risks arise without the participation of the person at risk, regardless of his will and desire. They are an integral part of the surrounding situation, which is often impossible to unambiguously calculate and predict.

Subjective risk is generated directly by the person acting due to his personal qualities and inclinations. This can be a thrill, an underestimation of the importance of a preliminary analysis of possible consequences.

According to the degree of destructiveness of the consequences are:

  • permissible. This is when the expected negative effects are much less than the expected positive positive results and in any case will be covered by them.
  • critical When the expected undesirable consequences may exceed the expected positive effect of the undertaken activity.
  • catastrophic.When consequences can lead to irreversible destructive consequences for a particular person, society or natural environment.

Risk psychology

The study of people's behavior in a decision-making situation with the possibility of obtaining negative consequences involves various applied areas of psychology: the psychology of work, the psychology of health, preventive psychology (the study of behavior that deviates from the norm).

The practical meaning of these studies is the study of the propensity to risk as a desirable personal quality for representatives of hazard-related professions (military, Emergencies Ministry and security forces), and undesirable quality for professionals who need to be careful and careful.

Psychologists study such personal characteristics of people as temperament, volitional qualities (decisiveness), motives of activity, beliefs, intellectual peculiarities and professionalism in this or that sphere, allowing to quickly and correctly assess the situation. The necessary combination of these qualities and allows you to effectively operate in an atmosphere of uncertainty, when the wrong actions can change the situation and make it worse than before the decision.

Also, the psychology of risk is engaged in the study of various external factors that alter the propensity to risk the same person in different environments. These factors include the familiar or unusual situation, the presence or absence of external pressure, the status of a person in this group.

Risk is the choice of a person between a more attractive, but less reliable and less attractive, but more reliable line of conduct.

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