Levels of Uncertainty

Abstract

There exist a variety of different understandings, definitions, and classifications of risk, which can make the resulting landscape of academic literature on the topic seem somewhat disjointed and often confusing. In this chapter, I will introduce a map on how to think about risks, and in particular uncertainty, which is arranged along the different questions of what the different academic disciplines find interesting about risk. This aims to give a more integrated idea of where the different literatures intersect and thus provide some order in our understanding of what risk is and what is interesting about it. One particular dimension will be presented in more detail, answering the question of what exactly we are uncertain about and distinguishing between five different levels of uncertainty. I will argue, through some concrete examples, that concentrating on the objects of uncertainty can give us an appreciation on how different perspectives on a given risk scenario are formed and will use the more general map to show how this perspective intersects with other classifications and analyses of risk.

Keywords

Risk Assessment Carbon Capture Bowel Cancer Risk Situation Risk Scenario 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Judge Business SchoolUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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