Hazard vs. Outrage
Difference Between Hazard and Outrage
You see a person crossing a railway track and become full of apprehensions. It is because of the perceived risk to his life because of a train that is entering at a high speed. But the man himself does not perceive any risk as he believes it is in control of the situation and will easily cross before the train arrives. Hazard to the life of the person remains the same but you are more outraged that this person why you feel a greater risk than the person himself. This concept explains why some risks are estimated to be greater than others. Once you understand the concepts of outrage and hazard, you saw how the perception of fear increases or decreases.
Those who have studied the risk know it depends on the extent and likelihood of occurrence. But in real life, the risk is perceived as large or small depending on outrage and hazard. Let us see those two words closely. Outrage is the public outcry against a hazard which is seen as a threat to people’s lives. The administration is often more concerned with the outrage than with the real danger as it acts in accordance with the sensitivities of people more often than not.
To understand the differences in how risks are perceived by the general public, one must look at the list of environmental hazards as deaths caused by them within a year. If you compare with the risks perceived as severe by the public, you will be surprised to see that both lists contain different results. People fear those risks which arouse anger and fear in people than the risks that kill silently. This is an astounding discovery that tells us that in the calculation of a risk, both hazard and outrage play a significant role.
One example is enough to exemplify the concept. Cigarette smoking causes many times more deaths each year than methylmeatloaf in the air. Yet it is amazing the kind of outrage that any news about methylmeatloaf produces than thousands of deaths of people occurring in hospitals from lung cancer due to smoking cigarettes. This example is enough to tell us how badly we need effective communication of risk in our country.