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How Risky Is It, Really?: Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts: Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts
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How Risky Is It, Really?: Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts: Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  56 ratings  ·  11 reviews
""Clear, balanced, and lively."" -- Steven Pinker, bestselling author of How the Mind Works ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE "RIGHT" RISKS?

Do you worry more about radiation from nuclear power or from the sun?

Are you more afraid of getting cancer than heart disease?

Are you safer talking on your cell phone or using a hands-free device when you drive?

Do you think global warming is a ser
288 pages
Published February 8th 2010 by McGraw-Hill (first published 2010)
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This was a very interesting book! I found myself talking to my husband and family about it, and questioning my own beliefs about risk.
React fast, think later. According to the scientific research Ropeik cites in this useful book, human brains are designed to respond quickly to perceived danger, before there's time to rationally consider what the real risks of the situation are. What served us well in the age of the saber tooth tiger is not as useful for making informed decisions in the modern world, plus all those fight, flight or freeze chemicals streaming through our nervous system create their own health risk. The heart of ...more
Nick Lo
I persevered as much as I could but ultimately couldn't finish this book. For that reason I'd probably have given it 1 star if the subject itself wasn't interesting.

As mentioned by other reviewers here, there is a noticeable amount of repetition, but that bothered me less than the feeling that the conversation tended to ramble a lot of the time. The book really needed to be better organised and by that I mean with more than just headings and titles. After about the first third, it just starts t
Todd Martin
In How Risky Is It, Really? David Ropeik discusses why people perceive certain activities as risky and others less so. Fortunately, Ropeik has a keen eye for the obvious and lists such contributing factors as:
– our familiarity with the risk
– our control over the risk
– whether we trust the individuals/organizations involved in the risk
– cultural factors
– how the media communicates risk

My biggest irritation with the book is that it contains nothing that any reasonable person couldn’t have co
getAbstract Book Review: How Risky Is It, Really?

This lively, honest book is a pleasure to read and easy to digest. Journalist David Ropeik demystifies the common mental and social mechanisms humans use to evaluate danger. He explains how people often misrepresent and misunderstand possibly perilous circumstances and tells you how to weigh potential risk more accurately. Some explanations are too long and some “risk perception factors” are a bit similar, but, that noted, Ropeik’s many insights
Weak. If there was one word to sum up the argument and delivery of the author's position, it would be "weak." The book was plagued by bad examples. Ropeik would present an idea, like "the Endowment Affect," explain it, say that people exhibit it, and then give an example. It all would seem to make sense and be convincing, but even with a little critical thought these sections fell apart, and the main unraveling came from his examples. The argument for a bounded rationality, risk mis-perception v ...more
A good, basic introduction to the neurology and psychology of risk perception. It discusses risk perception in both individuals and society at large, and includes tips for both individuals and societies on how to understand our innate responses to fear, and how to incorporate that understanding into our discussions of, reactions to, and policies about risk.
Sherry Leffert
This book has something interesting to say but after having said it, repeats itself over and over. The point is that what we perceive as dangerous is often shaped by the media, by political point of view and by other factors and does not necessarily match the facts. This point is very worthwhile to understand but after that it is all repetition.
Great read. Definitely recommend.
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Risk: A Practical Guide for Deciding What's Really Safe and What's Really Dangerous in the World Around You

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