Risk is defined in a multitude of different ways by researchers and in society. In scientific research risk is defined as Probability X Consequence. In reference to hazards, risk is the likely consequence, the probability of loss occurring due to a hazard or multiple hazards. Quantitative risk assessments are made using the following equation:
Risk = Hazard X Elements at Risk X Vulnerability
But risk is not limited to quantitative methods. It may include social or psychological perceptions of risk including how people define risk for themselves. While normally the primary goal of risk research is to learn how to mitigate risk if not attempt to remove it entirely, this is not always desirable. In some social arenas such as financial markets, risk is actually encouraged. When dealing with physical hazards there is no way to mitigate risk absolutely, instead new ways must be found to understand how to live with risk.