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Human Risk - PSY00059H

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Rob Jenkins
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

The concept of risk is an outgrowth of society’s great concern about coping with the hazards of every day life. Risk is not simply a matter of numbers. Advances in cognitive science have shown that understanding risk involves grappling with individual differences, context, and societal factors. In an ever-changing world, do the psychological models built to explain human reactions to risk still apply? Has recent research improved our understanding of how people perceive and act in relation to risk? In this module, we will use current examples to address these questions and provide an up-to-date overview of what is known about the psychology of risk.

Module learning outcomes

- Summarise the development of rational approaches to risk
- Give examples of how everyday decision making deviates from rational decision making in systematic and predictable ways
- Describe the role of risk at different levels of analysis—brain, person, group, society—and over different timescales
- Explore the impact of decisions taken now on the future of humanity.

Module content

- Tackling hazard head on: the science of risk
- Individual differences risk tolerance
- Fear, uncertainty, doubt: the emotional component
- Neurohazard: risk and brain science
- Risk illusions and cognitive biases
- Safety in numbers and the madness of crowds: Risk in social contexts
- “DON’T PANIC!” Communicating risk
- Superforecasters
- The ultimate risk.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Human Risk
5 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Human Risk
5 hours 100

Module feedback

The marks on all assessed work will be provided on e-vision.

Indicative reading


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.