The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible

Living Edition
| Editors: Vlad Petre Glăveanu (Editor-in-Chief)


Living reference work entry


Risk is generally understood as a possibility of an event with potentially negative consequences. In order to judge the risk of an event or activity, individuals need to perceive and mentally represent this possibility and the associated negative consequences. It is therefore often more correct to talk about risk as a subjective construct. Subjective risk perception has been broadly studied, with an emphasis on the acceptance of different kinds of dangers at both individual and societal levels. Research focuses on such things as the cognitive and emotional characteristics of risk perception (i.e., the psychological approach) as well as on the sociocultural aspects of risks (i.e., cultural theory). This chapter discusses the different layers that characterize the definition of risk and examines some of the scientific approaches to the study of risk. It also includes an analysis of the research methodology on risk perception and highlights the connection between risk and the possible.


Risk perception Subjective risk Risk as analysis Risk as feelings 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KlagenfurtKlagenfurtAustria
  2. 2.Department of MarketingQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sergio Agnoli
    • 1
  1. 1.Marconi Institute for CreativityUniversity of BolognaSasso Marconi (BO)Italy