Expert Judgment in Risk Analysis

Publication Type: 
Stephen C. Hora
Judgment involves the weighing of available evidence and reaching a balanced conclusion from that evidence. We bring in experts to provide these judgments because they have developed the mental tools needed to make sound evaluations. These mental tools include knowledge of what evidence can be brought to bear on the question, the abilities to weigh the validity of various pieces of evidence and to interpret the relative importance of various facts or assertions, and to craft a view from an ensemble of information that may be inherently limited or selfconflicted. In risk analysis these judgments nearly always entail uncertainty so that the judgments are not definitive but reflect what we know and what we know we do not know.