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The Search for Social Status and Risk Taking Behavior. Evaluating the possible link between positional preferences and social comparison, social identity and risk taking behavior in avalanche terrain

By Maria Karoline Skjeldås


Avalanche seminars are well attended in Norway, but despite this people are still caught by avalanches every year. Skiers and snowboarders counts for many of the victims, and the majority of accidents take place in steep terrain. Many of the victims had sufficient amount of knowledge about venturing in avalanche terrain, but still did not respond to signs of hazard. This thesis has taken a closer look at voluntarily risk taking behaviour in avalanche terrain, and the possible explanation behind why people expose themselves voluntarily to the risk of being killed by an avalanche. More specifically, it has been investigated if the desire for social status affects risk taking among Norwegian skiers in avalanche terrain. Comparison of the terrain the respondents ski to others, is found to have a statistical significant effect on risk taking behaviour in avalanche terrain, suggesting social status to be an important determinant of risk taking behaviour among skiers in avalanche terrain. The social identity of the respondents connected to the social group of skiers, and the social norm among skiers of importance of focusing on safety is also found to have statistical significant effect, on risk taking behaviour in avalanche terrain

Topics: VDP::Samfunnsvitenskap: 200::Økonomi: 210::Samfunnsøkonomi: 212, VDP::Social science: 200::Economics: 210::Economics: 212, SOK-3901
Publisher: 'UiT The Arctic University of Norway'
Year: 2017
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