Re: Constructivist Risk

W Ramsay (
Fri, 06 Oct 1995 08:23:33 +0100

Replying to Lindsay Oades A.J. Zolten writes:

>Have you considered the use of "propositionality" as part of your
>construction of risk? It would seem to me that when one uses a
>construct propositionaally, there is some comprehension that the
>construct will be invalid. Less threatening, more choice.
>A.J. Zolten,
>Univ. of Central AR
That's the idea I was groping for! If risk, then the risk-taker presumably
anticipates the possibility of a failed prediction. The greater the
anticipation of failure, the greater the degree of risk? Further, the more
core the construct, the greater the degree of risk? For example, a very
good friend of mine opted not to have bypass surgery, on the basis that
there was a small but definite possibility of minor brain damage in
consequence. Intellectual function featured highly in his core construct
system - he was a fellow of great wit & humanity. He died suddenly within
about nine months. Two risks, the greater risk involving the more core
construct, although the failure of anticipation was much less likely in its

How to tidy this up in formal language I'm not sure, yet, but the
risk-taker's construing of the probability of failure of anticipation is
pretty clearly involved. If the construing is pre-emptive, then the risk
won't be taken (or will always be taken), hence propositionality.

Hope this helps!

While I'm on, I'm pursuing some research in Careers Guidance with a friend
from Fife Careers Service here and one aspect that comes up is the tendency
of school students to choke off their range of choices between the beginning
and end of High School, even when they get really good results in School
Certificate. Grant sees this partly as due to an increse in the perception
of risk. I have a feeling that I've seen something related to this recently
but can't remember what or where. Anyone out there pursuing this?



Bill Ramsay,
University of Strathclyde,
Dept. of Educational Studies,
Jordanhill Campus,
Glasgow, G13 1PP,

'phone: + 44 (0)141 950 3364
fax: + 44 (0)141 950 3367.