Why 100 Once Is Worse Than 10 Times 10: Dread Risks versus “Continuous” Risks

Nicolai Bodemer, Azzurra Ruggeri, Mirta Galesic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

People tend to react more strongly to a dread risk, a rare event that kills many people at once, than to a continuous risk, a relatively frequent event that kills many people over a longer period of time, even when both cause the same number of fatalities. This different reaction to the dread risk is often considered a bias, but we show that it is an ecologically rational strategy. In a series of simulations, we found evidence that dread risks affect the population more severely over time than continuous risks causing the same number of fatalities. This holds particularly true when the risks affect children and young adults who would have produced future offspring if they had survived longer.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCooperative Minds
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Interaction and Group Dynamics - Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2013
EditorsMarkus Knauff, Natalie Sebanz, Michael Pauen, Ipke Wachsmuth
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages1923-1927
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780976831891
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Cooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics, CogSci 2013 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 31 Jul 20133 Aug 2013

Publication series

NameCooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics - Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2013

Conference

Conference35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Cooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics, CogSci 2013
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityBerlin
Period31/07/133/08/13

Keywords

  • continuous risk
  • dread risk
  • ecological rationality
  • risk perception

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