WHAT IS Probability and Timeframe?

PROBABILITY: the likelihood of certain impacts coming about in the worst or best form.

Probability is the second most common weighing tool in impact calculus after magnitude. This is generally something you have to assess, though often you’ll find probability analysis in the discussion portion of research papers. You can always do independent research into the likelihood of an impact occurring.

Example: If you study for your test, it is more likely that you will pass than if you choose to watch television all night.

Wording: “more/less likely than”, “more/less probable than”, “A is guaranteed while B is only likely/may occur”

Probability is essential to analyzing any impact. In fact, impacts are usually assumed probable rather than attacked for being improbable. You should always address probability in Impact Calculus.


TIMEFRAME: When an impact will occur; how long it takes an impact to occur or begin/end

Timeframe is another way to compare impacts based on when the impact occurs.

Example: If we use stimulus spending to boost the economy, the creation of jobs and increase of consumer spending will come before the effects of a minor increase in deficit spending.

Wording: “will happen faster/sooner”, “short term effect versus long term effect”, “comes first”

The most common way to think about timeframe is that one impact comes before another and therefore outweighs the secondary impact due to it occurring first. For some resolutions what matters more is what happens later (it just depends on the topic). You can also question the urgency of the resolution’s action if the desired impact will not occur soon or requires many other events to take place before it will occur.


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