Risk Communication and Decision-Making Lab

To better understand and improve individual and collective decision-making in the presence of uncertainty, the Risk Communication and Decision-Making Lab investigates different approaches for framing and providing information to households, businesses, and public sector decision-makers to ensure that they are aware of the risks they face and able to improve their preparedness and response to future adverse events.

Understanding and Managing 21st Century Risks

Research on how individuals perceive risk and make decisions with respect to risk preparedness.

Increasing Mitigation Through Persuasive Messaging

With support from the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research (ACIIR) at the University of Alabama, the Wharton Risk Center is developing audiovisual messages that aim to increase mitigation activities (e.g., installing a high wind resistant roof) among homeowners in hurricane-prone regions of the U.S.

Wilson, M. T. and C. Kousky (2019). “The Long Road to Adoption: How Long Does it Take to Adopt Updated County-Level Flood Insurance Rate Maps?” Risk, Hazards, & Crisis in Public Policy https://doi.org/10.1002/rhc3.12166

Haer, T., Botzen, W. W., & Aerts, J. C. (2019). Advancing disaster policies by integrating dynamic adaptive behaviour in risk assessments using an agent-based modelling approach.  Environmental Research Letters, 14(4), 044022.

Botzen, W. W., Kunreuther, H., Czajkowski, J., & de Moel, H. (2019). Adoption of Individual Flood Damage Mitigation Measures in New York City: An Extension of Protection Motivation Theory.  Risk Analysis.

Kousky, C. (2018). “How America Fails at Communicating Flood Risks.” City Lab. October 11.

Robinson, P. J., & Botzen, W. J. (2018). The impact of regret and worry on the threshold level of concern for flood insurance demand: Evidence from Dutch homeowners.  Judgment and Decision Making, 13(3), 237-245.

Meyer, R. and Kunreuther, H. (2017) The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters. Philadelphia, PA: Wharton Digital Press.

For a full list of publications, see our main publications page: https://riskcenter.wharton.upenn.edu/publications/

Flood Resilience Research – Collaboration with Zurich Insurance

The Risk Center joined with Zurich and partners to develop key initiatives focused on broadening the scope of flood resilience research, in order to advance global understanding of flood impact, risk reduction, financial protection, and community resilience.

Ackoff Fellowships

Check out our grants program for University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. students pursuing research in decision making under risk and uncertainty.

Howard Kunreuther on WUTV

Howard Kunreuther discusses why some people are underprepared for disasters on The Weather Channel in this clip from September, 2019.


For more information on the Risk Communication and Decision Making Lab, contact Zoë Linder-Baptie, Resilience Projects Manager, at zoelb@wharton.upenn.edu.