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KimWarren

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Andy asks "How to model shared psychological states such as the collective perception of risk (shared beliefs in what is safe/Not safe). This could lead organisations to take decisions believing that they are justifiable risks when they are not. I'm sure that inappropriate understanding of what is acceptable risk is behind many corporate disasters."
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KimWarren

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A simple 'diffusion' model would be OK to model members of a group moving from a Stock who 'perceive high risk' to another Stock who 'perceive high risk' [bimodal], but if you want to model 'average perceived risk' of a group it's a single stock with flows causing that perception to rise or fall. I guess the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster caused a rise in the average perceived risk of every engineer doing related work?

Try to be as concrete about such things as possible - e.g. I would likely have a 'flow' of decisions adding to a Stock of all decisions ever made [ancient decisions could be drained from the stock]. The flow of decisions would have a co-flow of actual risk, then a low perceived risk would result in more decisions being made rather than rejected,  but those extra decisions would carry more risk and the average risk of the system would rise. If that caused more frequent problems, then that would feed back and raise the perceived risk - a simple balancing system. That perception, though, would also be added to, or reduced, by other influences - e.g. it could self-reinforce its own growth or decline, reflecting a culture of either safety-above-all or risk-is-OK.

See the demo model at sdl.re/RiskPerception.
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