Risk It? Direct And Collateral Impacts Of Peers' Verbal Expressions About Hazard Likelihoods

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrew Smith Ph.D, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: When people encounter potential hazards, their expectations and behaviours can be shaped by a variety of factors including other people's expressions of verbal likelihood (e.g., unlikely to harm). What is the impact of such expressions when a person also has numeric likelihood estimates from the same source(s)? Two studies used a new task involving an abstract virtual environment in which people learned about and reacted to novel hazards. Verbal expressions attributed to peers influenced participants’ behaviour toward hazards even when numeric estimates were also available. Namely, verbal expressions suggesting that the likelihood of harm from a hazard is low (vs. higher) yielded more risk taking with respect to said hazard. There were also inverse collateral effects, whereby participants’ behaviour and estimates regarding another hazard in the same context were affected in the opposite direction. These effects may be based on directionality and relativity cues inferred from verbal likelihood expressions.

Additional Information

Paul D. Windschitl, Andrew R. Smith, Aaron M. Scherer & Jerry Suls (2017). Risk it? Direct and collateral impacts of peers' verbal expressions about hazard likelihoods, Thinking & Reasoning, 23:3, 259-291, DOI: 10.1080/13546783.2017.1307785. Publisher version of record available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13546783.2017.1307785
Language: English
Date: 2017
Risk perception, decision making, verbal probabilities, risk communication

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