We make decisions all day every day. At times we do this on automatic pilot. At other times the process is much more deliberate. We are mentally more engaged and weigh up the pros and cons.
No doubt we also take risks every day. Some would say the simple act of getting out of bed in the morning involves risk, although it is equally true that staying in bed incurs risk as well. You might just miss the bus and the opportunity just passes you by.
Perhaps we simply do not think about the risks involved in our day to day activities and it is only scenarios that involve making decisions whilst at the same time as taking risks that really get us to sit up and pay attention. Just thinking about taking a risk has implications of hazards or chance of bad consequences.
Some risk taking might better thought of as rash or reckless beahviour. Young people are believed to be more likely to take risks perhaps through experimentation, excess alcohol, drug use and partying too hard. Although we all know of young people who come through unscathed so perhaps the stereotype of youth as reckless is not entirely justified. We may need to consider if assessing risk is a skill that can be acquired. Perhaps some are more likley to pay attention to warning signals?
Do we ever consider the term risk as something that might have some reasonable outcomes rather than carrying with it the notion of excess and loss? Is there such a thing as a reasonable risk? This notion certainly lives in the business world. To be empowered to take reasonable risk is suggested as a pathway to profit. If there is reasonable risk how do we determine what this is? And given there is unreasonable risk what are unacceptable levels of loss or harm?
There are many questions raised when considering decision making in the face of risk. We might want to think about how much of a role our emotions play in decision making? Do you listen to you gut feeling or try to overide this with a logical analysis? Alternatively we might want to develop some creative ways of thinking about risk.
Perhaps the decision making models that researchers use can help witb some understanding of the processes you encounter with the practical day to day circumstances you find yourself in?
And of course does an optimism about finding your way through the maze get safely home?
Your thougths on these issues are welcomed. Certainly the dialogue we have will be interesting. I look forward to some lively discussion.