Theme 4.3 Risky business? How to optimize risk communication

Choices that people make often include uncertainty and risk – will the new iPhone last as long as I would like? Will not drinking alcohol keep me healthy? Will wearing a bicycle helmet in Amsterdam keep me safe? Although risk communication has a long history, a lot is still unknown on (a) which formats should be used to convey risk, (b) what specific element of risk should be used, (c) and what outcomes should be used. In this theme, students will use experimental designs to investigate how communication about risks can be optimized for what types of outcomes. All of these questions require a strong link between science and practice and research designs in this theme preferably also include implicit measures.

Further readings:

  • Gilad, D., & Kliger, D. (2008). Priming the Risk Attitudes of Professionals in Financial Decision Making. Review of Finance, 12(3), 567-586.
  • King, D., Vlaev, I., Everett-Thomas, R., Fitzpatrick, M., Darzi, A., & Birnbach, D. J. (2016). “Priming” hand hygiene compliance in clinical environments. Health Psychology, 35(1), 96.
  • Finucane, M. L., Alhakami, A., Slovic, P., & Johnson, S. M. (2000). The affect heuristic in judgments of risks and benefits. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 13, 1-17.