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Risk-specific search for risk-defusing operators

By Martina Wilke, Heike Haug and Joachim Funke


According to the concept of “active risk-defusing behavior”, decision makers in risky situations look for additional actions that reduce risk and allow them to favor the more risky alternative. Our study demonstrates that risk-defusing behavior depends on the type of risk (normal, medium, catastrophic or global) as well as on the domain (health, economy or ecology). In total, 12 scenarios (four risk types from three risk domains each) were constructed. Using the interview techniques of active information search and thinking-aloud, 120 interviews about decision-making processes with these scenarios were conducted. They showed that the active search for different risk-defusing operators depends on the type of risk, but even more on the domain of the scenario. Results suggest a need for further research about a typology of risk situations in which, besides formal classification criteria, content issues are also explored

Topics: Cognitive Psychology
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1024/1421-0185.67.1.29
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