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Assessing Consequences

Chapters and Articles

From Aaron, Risk and Rigor

The following chapters (click on titles for pdfs) offer guidance for assessing consequences - referred to as outcomes or "payoffs" - when building decision trees .  However, their discussion and advice would be useful for any decisionmaker considering the consequences of an uncertain future event, even without a formal decision tree structure.


This chapter discusses the importance of structuring the “pay-off ” as a net number and provides straightforward guidance on how to do it. 

Experience in real legal disputes reminds us that the “intangibles”—the unquantified consequences not covered in a damages award—may prove the most consequential. This chapter identifies two types of intangibles - those easily monetized as direct costs or gains, and those not - and discusses how these can be accounted for on a decision tree and in discussion with a client.


It remains true that some very real consequences eludes dollar value quantification.  A healthy range of intangibles, of values measured in emotional satisfaction, relationships, pride, personal and professional narrative, comfort—all things that matter greatly to us—drive our decisions and are impacted by them. When a decision or a possibility leads to opportunities, risks, losses, and gains, their intangible consequences may be much more important.  This chapter suggest ways to consider these with clients and insure their appropriately important role in decisionmaking.


Many articles on this topic  are referenced in Risk and Rigor's reference bibliography.

Additional articles and chapters on the important topic of assessing consequences to be posted soon, as well as teaching materials, resources for working with clients, and readings on utility analysis. 

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