Risk is all about perception, and that shapes health decisions

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Making good decisions, about our health and everything else, revolves around perceptions of risk, according to speakers at yesterday’s annual Donaghue Foundation conference. David Ropeik, author of How Risky Is It Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts, and Brian Zikmund-Fisher, Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan, delivered a great deal of evidence that our perceptions of risk are not necessarily tied to the realities. How risk is communicated can be as important as the numbers. Thankfully, the science of how to convey risk information in a useful and meaningful way is constantly improving. Fascinating conference, yet again, leaving us with lots to think about and use in our work.