Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Psychology

Editor-in-Chief: Kiefer, Markus

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2543-8883
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Risk Taking with Variable Resources: a Field and a Laboratory Experiment

Klára Faragó
  • Corresponding author
  • Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, ELTE PPK, Institute of Psychology, Budapest,Hungary
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ajna Uatkán
  • Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, ELTE PPK, Institute of Psychology & Doctoral School of Psychology, Budapest, Hungary
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psych-2018-0004

Abstract

Background: Theoretical predictions and experimental findings concerning the relationship between risk taking and accumulated resources are contradictory. In contrast to laboratory experiments, studies conducted in an ecologically valid environment allow for the evaluation of available resources and the motivational impact of potentially serious consequences for risk taking. Objective: Our aim was to (i) examine the influence of available resources on risk taking in an ecologically valid field experiment; and (ii) to compare “real life” and laboratory experiments assessing risk taking. Method: To reproduce real decisions involving real stakes, the students were asked to choose between exam questions representing different levels of difficulty. Available resources of the students were defined as the amount of points accumulated during the semester. In parallel, the laboratory experiments were conducted to assess risk taking in a laboratory setting. Results: The two experimental setups yielded different results. In the field experiment, risk taking decreased with the available resources, whereas the laboratory experiments suggested an inverse tendency. The influence of contextual effects was only prominent in the field experiment.Conclusion: The results of the field experiment support the variable risk preference model, whereas the risk-sensitivity theory could only be validated in the laboratory setting.

Keywords: risk taking; available resources; field experiment; risk-sensitivity theory; variable risk preference model

References

  • Anderson, L., & Mellor, J. (2009). Are risk preferences stable? Comparing an experimental measure with a validated survey-based measure. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 39(2), 137-160.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bargh, J. A., Chen, M., & Burrows, L. (1996) Automaticity of Social Behavior: Direct Effects of Trait Construct and Stereotype Activation on Action, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(2), 230-244.Google Scholar

  • Bromiley, P. (1991). Testing A Causal Model Of Corporate Risk Taking And Performance. Academy of Management Journal, 34(1), 37-59.Google Scholar

  • Burns, T., & Stalker, G. M. (1994). The Management of Innovation. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Calvillo, D. P., & Penaloza, A. (2009). Are complex decisions better left to the unconscious? Further failed replications of the deliberation-without-attention effect. Judgment and Decision Making, 4(6), 509-517.Google Scholar

  • Caraco, T. (1981). Energy budgets, risk and foraging preferences in dark-eyed juncos ( Junco hyemalis ). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 8, 213-217.Google Scholar

  • Czarniawska-Joerges, B. (1988). Dynamics of organizational control: The case of Berol Kemi AB. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 13(4), 415-430.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dohmen, T., Falk, A., Huffman, D., Sunde, U., Wagner, G. (2011). Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences. Journal of the European Economic Association, 9(3), 522-550.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dutton, J. E., & Jackson, S. E. (1987). Categorizing Strategic Issues: Links to Organizational Action. The Academy of Management Review, 12(1), 76-90.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ermer, E., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2008). Relative status regulates risky decision making about resources in men: evidence for the co-evolution of motivation and cognition. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29(2), 106-118.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Harris, D. (1940). Factors affecting college grades: a review of the literature, 1930-1937. Psychological Bulletin, 37(3), 125-166.Google Scholar

  • Hsee, C. K., Loewenstein, G. F., Blount, S., & Bazerman, M. H. (1999). Preference reversals between joint and separate evaluations of options: a review and theoretical analysis. Psychological bulletin, 125(5), 576.Google Scholar

  • Humphreys, M. (2015). Reflections on the Ethics of Social Experimentation. Journal of Globalization and Development, 6(1).Google Scholar

  • Island, H. K. D., Szalda-Petree, A. D., & Kucera, S. C. (2007). Sex Differences in Risk Sensitivity Under Positive and Negative Budgets and Predictors of Choice. The Journal of General Psychology, 134(4), 435-452.Google Scholar

  • Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk. Econometrica, 47(2), 263-291.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kerlinger, F. N. (1986). Foundations of behavioral research. Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar

  • Klauer, K. C., & Musch, J. (2003). Affective Priming: Findings and Theories. In J. Musch & K. C. Klauer (Eds.), The Psychology of Evaluation: Affective Processes in Cognition and Emotion. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Kühberger, A. (1998) The Influence of Framing on Risky Decisions: A Meta-analysis. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 75(1), 23-55.Google Scholar

  • Kühberger, A., Schulte-Mecklenbeck, M., & Perner, J. (2002). Framing decisions: Hypothetical and real. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 89(2), 1162-1175.Google Scholar

  • Lassiter, G. D., Lindberg, M. J., González-Vallejo, C., Bellezza, F. S., & Phillips, N. D. (2009). The deliberation-without-attention effect: evidence for an artifactual interpretation. Psychological Science, 20(6), 671-675.PubMedCrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Levitt, S. D., & List, J. A. (2007). What do laboratory experiments measuring social preferences reveal about the real world? The journal of economic perspectives, 21(2), 153-174.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Loewenstein, G. (2000). Emotions in Economic Theory and Economic Behavior. The American Economic Review, 90(2), 426-432.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • March, J. G., & Shapira, Z. (1992). Variable Risk Preferences and the Focus of Attention. Psychological Review, 99(1), 172-183.Google Scholar

  • McNamara, J. M., & Houston, A. I. (1996). State-dependent life histories. Nature, 380(6571), 215-221.Google Scholar

  • Mishra, S., & Lalumière, M. L. (2010). You can’t always get what you want: The motivational effect of need on risk-sensitive decision-making. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(4), 605-611.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Newell, B. R., Wong, K. Y., Cheung, J. C. H., & Rakow, T. (2009). Think, blink or sleep on it? The impact of modes of thought on complex decision making. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (2006), 62(4), 707-732.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Osborn, R. N., & Jackson, D. H. (1988). Leaders, Riverboat Gamblers, or Purposeful Unintended Consequences in theGoogle Scholar

  • Management of Complex, Dangerous Technologies. Academy of Management Journal, 31(4), 924-947.Google Scholar

  • Pietras, C. J., & Hackenberc, T. D. (2001). Risk-sensitive choice in humans as a function of an earnings budget. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 76(1), 1-19.Google Scholar

  • Reyna, V. F., & Farley, F. (2006). Risk and rationality in adolescent decision making implications for theory, practice, and public policy. Psychological science in the public interest, 7(1), 1-44.Google Scholar

  • Rubenstein, D. I. (1987). Alternative reproductive tactics in the spider Meta segmentata. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 20(4), 229-237.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Slovic, P. (1969). Differential effects of real versus hypothetical payoffs on choices among gambles. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 80(3), 434-437.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Slovic, P., Finucane, M. L., Peters, E., & MacGregor, D. G. (2004). Risk as analysis and risk as feelings: some thoughts about affect, reason, risk, and rationality. Risk Analysis: An Official Publication of the Society for Risk Analysis, 24(2), 311-322.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Staw, B. M., Sandelands, L. E., & Dutton, J. E. (1981). Threat Rigidity Effects in Organizational Behavior: A Multilevel Analysis. Administrative Science Quarterly, 26(4), 501.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stephens, D. W. and Krebs, J. R. (1986) Foraging Theory. Princeton University Press, Princeton.Google Scholar

  • Sun, X., & May, A. (2013). A Comparison of Field-Based and Lab-Based Experiments to Evaluate User Experience ofGoogle Scholar

  • Personalised Mobile Devices. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction, 2013, 2.Google Scholar

  • Teigen, K. H., Brun W. (1997) Anticipating the future: Appraising risk and uncertainty. in R. Ranyard, W. Ray Crozier, O. Svenson (eds) Decision making: Cognitive models and explanations, 112-127.Google Scholar

  • Thaler, R. H. (1994). Quasi Rational Economics. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Publications.Google Scholar

  • Wang, X. T. (2002). Risk as reproductive variance. Evolution and Human Behavior, 23(1), 35-57.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wehrung, D. A., Lee, K.-H., Tse, D. K., & Vertinsky, I. B. (1989). Adjusting risky situations: A theoretical framework and empirical test. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 2(2), 189-212.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Received: 2018-02-09

Accepted: 2018-07-15

Published Online: 2018-09-25

Published in Print: 2018-09-01


Citation Information: Open Psychology, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 36–57, ISSN (Online) 2543-8883, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psych-2018-0004.

Export Citation

© by Klára Faragó and Ajna Uatkán, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in