# Risk Lab

```Risk Lab
We all face numerous risks in our lives every day, however we do not accurately perceive all of these risks. We may not
recognize some high-risk activities as much of a risk, while worrying about low-risk activities much more than is warranted. For
example, some people may believe the possibility of a terrifying event such as an earthquake or other natural disaster introduces
more risk into their lives than it does; and, at the same time, think that the air they breathe inside their home, school, or
workplace introduces less risk than it actually does.
In this activity, you will survey friends and family members of various ages to find out how they perceive the risk of various
activities and lifestyles, and compare their risk perception to reality. You will also collaborate on the compilation and analysis
of data collected by a group.
Materials
 Survey Question and Data Table
 12 people to survey
Procedure
1.
Survey twelve people by reading the statement enclosed in quotes exactly as it is printed on the page, and recording their
responses, in ink, directly into the data table in your lab book.
2.
Survey between 4 and 8 individuals 25 years of age or younger and between 4 and 8 individuals 26 years of age or older.
(Do not survey anyone younger than 16 years of age.)
3.
Record the respondent's name and whether or not they are over or under 25 years of age (≤25 or ≥26) at the top of the
column that corresponds with their responses.
4.
Do not allow the person being surveyed to see the responses of others.
5.
Do not survey anyone who has already been surveyed by an APES student (ask them first).
6.
Thank each person for participating.
Data Analysis
After completing all of the surveys and prior to class—the day the group portion of the lab is scheduled—complete all of the following:
1.
Calculate the average responses of all respondents.
2.
Calculate the average responses of individuals 25 years of age and under.
3.
Calculate the average responses of individuals 26 years of age and older.
In Class—the day the group portion of the lab is scheduled—you will be placed into a group to combine your data with the rest of your groups’
data and complete all of the following:
1.
Calculate the groups’ average responses of all respondents.
2.
Calculate the groups’ average responses of individuals 25 years of age and under.
3.
Calculate the groups’ average responses of individuals 26 years of age and older.
Plot the data
1.
For your individual data, draw three graphs on which you plot the actual risk on the y-axis and the perceived risk on the xaxis for: (1) all respondents, (2) individuals 25 years of age and under, and (3) 26 years of age and older. (Title and
completely label each graph, as well as each point on each graph with the identity of the risk it represents.)
2.
For your groups’ data draw three graphs on which you plot the actual risk on the y-axis and the perceived risk on the x-axis
for: (1) all respondents, (2) individuals 25 years of age and under, and (3) 26 years of age and older. (Title and completely
label each graph, as well as each point on each graph with the identity of the risk it represents.)
3.
Draw two lines on each graph from points at (0,2) to (8,10) and from points at (2,0) to (10,8).
Discussion
Write a thoughtful, insightful, and logical discussion in which you attempt to fully explain the results of the surveys. An
acceptable discussion will include reasoned explanations for differences between actual and perceived risk, relatively accurately
perceived risks, variation in risk perception with age, and an attempt to explain the ramifications of discrepancies between risk
perception and reality amongst people. As is the case in all discussions of experimental results, an acceptable discussion will
also outline possible revisions to this study that would allow for the clarification, elucidation, or refining of the results.
The Survey
Conduct the following survey twelve times. Record the respondent's name and whether or not they are over or under 25 years
of age (≤25 or ≥26) at the top of the column that corresponds with their responses. Do not allow the person being surveyed to
see the responses of others. Survey between 4 and 8 individuals 25 years of age and under, and between 4 and 8 individuals 26
years of age and over. Do not survey anyone younger than 16 years of age. Do not survey anyone who has already been
surveyed by an APES student (ask them first). Thank each respondent for his or her participation.
Natural disasters
Structure fires
Drowning
Driving an automobile
Drinking tap water
Tobacco use
Bicycling
Indoor air pollution
Outdoor air pollution
Alcohol use
Medical X-rays
Flying commercial
airlines
Being slightly overweight
Being severely overweight
Pesticide residues on food
Terrorism
AIDS
Living with a smoker
Toxic waste
Drug abuse
Living in poverty
Group Averages
Individual Averages
Risk
Name (≤25/≥26)
&quot;I am going to read a list of risks to human well-being. Please rate the risks on a 1 to 10 scale: a ten being a great
risk, not necessarily to yourself, but to the average American, and a one being a minor risk to the average
American.&quot;
Risk
Actual
Risk
Natural disasters
1
Structure fires
3
Drowning
3
Driving an automobile
7
Drinking tap water
1
Tobacco use
10
Bicycling
3
Indoor air pollution
6
Outdoor air pollution
6
Alcohol use
6
Medical X-rays
2
Flying commercial airlines
1
Being slightly overweight
9
Being severely overweight
10
Pesticide residues on food
4
Terrorism
1
AIDS
5
Living with a smoker
8
Toxic waste
2
Drug abuse
7
Living in poverty
10
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