On how to conceptualise and describe risk
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAven, T. (2011) On how to conceptualise and describe risk. Reliability: Theory & Applications, 2(1), 28-37
A number of definitions and interpretations of the risk concept exist. Many of these are probabilitybased. In this paper we present and discuss a structure for characterising the definitions, which is founded on a clear distinction between (a) risk as a concept based on events, consequences and uncertainties; (b) risk as a modelled, quantitative concept; and (c) risk descriptions. The discussion leads to recommended perspective for conceptualising and assessing risk, which is based on risk defined by (a), and the probability-based definitions of risk can be viewed as related model parameters and/or risk descriptions. Two ways of detailing the framework are outlined: the relative frequency-based approach and the Bayesian approach.