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Risk attribution theory: an exploratory conceptualization of individual choice under uncertainty

  • Empirical research has shown that decision-makers often display distinct risk preferences that are not explained by prospect theory as it currently exists. In particular, decision-makers have been found to act in ways that might reflect individual risk preferences outside of the fourfold pattern predicted by prospect theory. We suggest that this behavior can be explained by integrating personal factors—in addition to the contextual factors proposed by prospect theory—into a unified theory of individual choice under uncertainty. Drawing on recent findings in decision theory and social psychology, we introduce "risk attribution theory" to illustrate how cognitive and affective factors influence the evaluation of risky prospects and eventually lead to distinct individual risk behavior.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Philip Meißner, Torsten WulfORCiD
Center:Center for Strategy and Scenario Planning (CSSP)
Year of Completion:2017
In: Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 67 (2017), 20-27 DOI 10.1007/s11846-014-0144-6 (19p)