Journal of Experimental Criminology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 29–47

Examining context-specific perceptions of risk: exploring the utility of “human-in-the-loop” simulation models for criminology

  • Andrew Park
  • Joseph Clare
  • Valerie Spicer
  • Patricia L. Brantingham
  • Tom Calvert
  • Greg Jenion



To utilize a “human-in-the-loop” simulation methodology to examine the impact of high-risk environmental contexts on perceptions of victimization risk.


Fifty-nine participants navigated a virtual environment and encountered five two-alternative forced-choice decision points, with one alternative representing a high-risk environmental context in each case.


Participants risk-aware decision-making was examined as a function of sex and age, both for their decisions overall and also at each specific decision point. Overall differences in total risk-aware decisions were observed for sex (with females more risk-aware) but not age. In addition to this, variation in perceived risk was also observed across the range of high-risk environmental contexts and there was also some indication of varying influence of age and sex on specific types of risk-aware decisions.


These results have interesting implications for research into context-specific perceptions of risk. These findings also support a stance that “human-in-the-loop” simulation modeling has good potential to contribute to criminology more broadly.


Human-in-the-loop simulations Perceptions of risk Decision-making Movement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Park
    • 1
    • 3
  • Joseph Clare
    • 2
  • Valerie Spicer
    • 3
  • Patricia L. Brantingham
    • 3
  • Tom Calvert
    • 3
  • Greg Jenion
    • 4
  1. 1.Thompson Rivers UniversityColumbiaCanada
  2. 2.Crime Research CentreUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  3. 3.Simon Fraser UniversityColumbiaCanada
  4. 4.Kwantlen Polytechnic UniversityLangleyCanada

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