Out of the Ashes: Hope and Vulnerability as Explanatory Factors in Individual Risk Taking

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High individual risk taking, whether in terms of life‐style risks or others, has often been explained in terms of acceptance of risks or misperception of the possible negative outcome. This article challenges this view, and points to a kind of risks that does not seem to fit this explanation. These risks are referred to as risks from vulnerability . They are taken because there are no positive alternatives to them, and the choice is perceived as having an element of hope. A new framework is proposed in order to expand these explanatory factors within the risk perception research. This framework analyzes individual risk taking in terms of: poor outset conditions, lack of reasonable options, hope, and liability to disinformation.

Keywords: Risk; disinformation; hope; individual risk taking; reasonable options; risk communication; risk perception; risks from vulnerability; vulnerability

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13669870500419537

Affiliations: Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen 78, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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