Home WakeSpace Scholarship › Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Making Information Count: Highlighting Discrepancies Between Risk Perception and Risk Communication in Combined Description/Experience Settings

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Item Files

Item Details

abstract
A problem currently facing risk communicators is how to modify risk perception and risky behavior among people who have previously engaged in a targeted risky behavior, given that research suggests that they are more strongly influenced by their personal experience of the probabilities associated with the risk than by descriptive information about the true probabilities associated with the risk. Hayes and Stone (2017) found early support for the hypothesis, based in Fuzzy Trace Theory, that the above finding occurs because experience strongly impacts gist risk perception – a coarse or “fuzzy” representation of the meaning of specific risk information – whereas descriptive information does not impact gist. The present research replicated the large effect of experience on gist, but also found a small effect of descriptive information on gist. Additionally, the present research found evidence to support a novel intervention that strengthened the effect of descriptive information on gist, though only for participants who had previously experienced a higher than average rate of losses due to a risky behavior. The main contributions of this research are 1) the finding that risk communications must influence gist perceptions of the probabilities associated with a risk if they are to reduce the effect of previous personal experience on future decisions about engaging in the risk, and 2) the presentation of an simple intervention that strengthens the effect of descriptive information on gist risk perception among certain experienced risk takers.
subject
Decision making
Description experience gap
Fuzzy Trace Theory
Risk communication
contributor
Hayes, Bridget (author)
Stone, Eric R (committee chair)
Seta, Catherine E (committee member)
Greene, Heath L (committee member)
Ross, Jennifer J (committee member)
date
2018-08-23T08:35:36Z (accessioned)
2018-08-23T08:35:36Z (available)
2018 (issued)
degree
Psychology (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/92376 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Making Information Count: Highlighting Discrepancies Between Risk Perception and Risk Communication in Combined Description/Experience Settings
type
Thesis

Usage Statistics