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Cognitive Mapping Tools: Review and Risk Management Needs


Address correspondence to Igor Linkov, 696 Virginia Rd., Concord, MA 01742, USA;


Risk managers are increasingly interested in incorporating stakeholder beliefs and other human factors into the planning process. Effective risk assessment and management requires understanding perceptions and beliefs of involved stakeholders, and how these beliefs give rise to actions that influence risk management decisions. Formal analyses of risk manager and stakeholder cognitions represent an important first step. Techniques for diagramming stakeholder mental models provide one tool for risk managers to better understand stakeholder beliefs and perceptions concerning risk, and to leverage this new understanding in developing risk management strategies. This article reviews three methodologies for assessing and diagramming stakeholder mental models—decision-analysis-based mental modeling, concept mapping, and semantic web analysis—and assesses them with regard to their ability to address risk manager needs.