Forecasted risk taking in youth: evidence for a bounded-rationality perspective
- First Online:
This research examined whether youth’s forecasted risk taking is best predicted by a compensatory (namely, subjective expected utility) or non-compensatory (e.g., single-factor) model. Ninety youth assessed the importance of perceived benefits, importance of perceived drawbacks, subjective probability of benefits, and subjective probability of drawbacks for 16 risky behaviors clustered evenly into recreational and health/safety domains. In both domains, there was strong support for a non-compensatory model in which only the perceived importance of the benefits of engaging in a risky behavior predicted youths’ forecasted engagement in risky behavior. The study overcomes earlier methodological weaknesses by fully decomposing participants’ assessments into importance and probability aspects for both benefits and drawbacks. As such, the 6findings provide clear evidence in support of a bounded-rationality perspective on youth decision making regarding risk taking.
KeywordsRisk perception Risk taking Subjective expected utility Bounded rationality Youth
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Anand P. (1995) Foundations of rational choice under risk. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Baron, J., Brown, R. V. (eds) (1991) Teaching decision making to adolescents. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJGoogle Scholar
- Bauman K. E., Udry J. R. (1981) Subjective expected utility and adolescent sexual behavior. Adolescence 16: 527–535Google Scholar
- Beyth-Marom R., Fischhoff B. (1997) Adolescents’ decisions about risks: A cognitive perspective. In: Schulenberg J., Maggs J., Hurnelmans K. (eds) Health risks and developmental transaction during adolescence. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 110–135Google Scholar
- Cohen J. (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (rev. ed.). Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJGoogle Scholar
- Dhami, M. K., & Garcia-Retamero, R. (in press). Spanish young adults’ perceptions of the costs and benefits of risky driving. The Spanish Journal of Psychology.Google Scholar
- Dhami, M. K., & Mandel, D. R. (2011). Crime as risk taking. Psychology, Crime and Law. doi:10.1080/1068316x.2010.498423.
- DiClemente, R. J., Hansen, W., Ponton, L. E. (eds) (1996) Handbook of adolescent health risk behavior. Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- the ABC Research Group: (1999) Simple heuristics that make us smart. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Gruber, J. (Ed.). (2001) Risky behavior among youths: An economic analysis. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
- Knight, F. H. (1921/1964). Risk, uncertainty, and profit. New York: Sentry Press.Google Scholar
- Reyna V. F., Farley F. (2006) Risk and rationality in adolescent decision making: Implications for theory, practice, and public policy. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 7: 1–44Google Scholar
- Romer, D. (Ed.). (2003) Reducing adolescent risk: Toward an integrated approach. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Simon H. A. (1982) Models of bounded rationality. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar