Risk and Risk Perception: A literature review

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Risk is an important concept in many policy fields. There is a large literature on risk covering a range
of disciplines from mathematics to psychology. Each of these perspectives can contribute to a better
understanding of how risk is constructed, perceived and managed by experts and the general public.
This report investigates the literature on risk and risk perception across a range of disciplines in order
to:
• Provide a better understanding of the diverse theoretical approaches to risk and risk perception
and the available work on farmers’ perceptions of risk;
• Contribute to improved policy outcomes in areas involving risk management, such as drought
and import risk analysis; and
• Support the improvement of the communication of policy decisions.
The understanding provided in this report of how stakeholders and the broader community perceive
risk should assist policy makers in developing better policy and more effective means for
communicating government policies and programs in areas involving risk management.

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