Risky choice in an interpersonal context: Do people dare because they care?

Faculty/Professorship: Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment  
Author(s): Leder, Johannes  ; Betsch, Tilmann
Title of the Journal: Journal of Economic Psychology
ISSN: 0167-4870
Publisher Information: Amsterdam [u.a.] : Elsevier
Year of publication: 2016
Volume: 52
Issue: 1
Pages: 1-23
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2015.11.003
This paper presents an experimental study investigating the interplay of individuals’ other-regarding preferences and individuals’ risk attitude. Participants (N = 120) had to make choices between a certain and risky payoff only for themselves (individual context) and choices in which the participants were paired with another randomly assigned participant who functioned as a passive recipient (interpersonal context). In the interpersonal context the risky option was beneficial for the other person while the certain option was not. Thus, the interpersonal choice context was an abstract representation of the incentive structure in helping situations, which yield risk only for the helper. Risky options in the interpersonal context yielded different payoff distributions, which allowed us to identify how considerations of fairness affect interpersonal risky choices. To assess other-regarding preferences, a dictator game was played. First we found that participants were generally less risk averse in the interpersonal choices; however, the degree of risk aversion was affected by the distribution of payoffs between decider and recipient. Furthermore, we found that changes of risk aversion in an interpersonal context could be predicted with the proposed splits in the dictator game.
Keywords: Other-regarding preferences, Risky interpersonal choice, Prosocial behavior under risk, Risk taking
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/40384
Year of publication: 17. May 2016