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SÆTREVIK Bjørn

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30 Jun 2022
STAGE 1
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Revisiting and updating the risk-benefits link: Replication of Fischhoff et al. (1978) with extensions examining pandemic related factors

Understanding the relationship between the perception of risks and benefits

Recommended by based on reviews by Katherine Fox-Glassman, Bjørn Sætrevik, Richard Brown and Toby Wise
Everyday decisions involve weighing up many kinds of risks and benefits, prompting the question of how our perception of those risks relates to our perception of the associated benefits. Intuitively, we might assume that behaviours or practices that are judged by society as riskier would also be seen as carrying greater potential benefits, in keeping with the expression “high risk, high reward”. The psychology of risk perception, however, appears to be more complex. In a seminal study, Fischhoff et al. (1978) in fact found the opposite pattern: that perceived risk and perceived benefit were negatively correlated – behaviours or practices that were perceived to be higher risk tended to be perceived as carrying lower benefits. This counterintuitive finding has had a significant impact on the field of judgment and decision making, despite being subjected only rarely to close replication.
 
Using a large-scale online design, Frank and Feldman (2022) propose a replication that incorporates key elements of Fischhoff et al. (1978) as well as a recent replication by Fox-Glassman et al. (2016). In particular, the authors will reassess the strength and directionality of the relationship between perceived risks and perceived benefits, and how these relate to both risk characteristics and acceptable levels of risk. As part of a series of exploratory extensions, they will also examine the risk/benefit relationship for policies and practices related to the Covid-19 pandemic, including vaccinations, lockdowns, and social distancing.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/bx93v
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA. 
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
References
 
1. Fischhoff, B., Slovic, P., Lichtenstein, S., Read, S., & Combs, B. (1978). How safe is safe enough? A psychometric study of attitudes towards technological risks and benefits. Policy Sciences, 9, 127-152. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00143739 
 
2. Fox-Glassman, K. T. & Weber, E. U. (2016). What makes risk acceptable? Revisiting the 1978 psychological dimensions of perceptions of technological risks. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 75, 157-169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmp.2016.05.003
 
3. Frank, J. M. & Feldman, G. (2022). Revisiting and updating the risk-benefits link: Replication of Fischhoff et al. (1978) with extensions examining pandemic related factors, in principle acceptance of Version 3 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/bx93v
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SÆTREVIK Bjørn

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Review:  1