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Project 5 - Cumulative Risk

Project 5 - Cumulative Risk: Modeling Risk Perceptions and Risk Taking in Dynamic Situations

The goal of project P5 is to investigate basic mechanisms and processes of risk perception and risk-taking behavior. Although there is already much research in this area, mainly static tasks have been applied. These tasks, however, do not reflect the fact that risky everyday decisions usually lead to conditions that change the risk for further decisions. An interesting question therefore is, to what extent decision makers are able to sense the changes and to take them into account. To answer this and related questions, the present project focusses on basic dynamic aspects of risk behavior. Recently, several dynamic tasks have been developed that are well suited for achieving this goal. One of these is the Columbia Card Task (CCT), where several sequential risky decisions have to be made, each of which modifies the risk. The CCT allows the detailed investigation of the Preparedness-Exposure-Coping (PEC) cycle, which is the main topic of the research unit. The focus of project P5 is the dynamics of sequential decisions. The corresponding performance will not only be investigated experimentally, but also modeled with learning models. Of further interest is the dynamics within decisions. That is, it will be examined how different types of information are taken into account during the decision process and are used as evidence for the different options. These issues will also be analyzed by modeling the decision performance with diffusion models. Overall, 11 Experiments are planned, of which some are concerned with basic properties of dynamic risky decisions. In other experiments the effects of different PEC-cycle factors are tested. Among these factors are feedback, emotion, and the degree of subjective control during decisions. The applicability of the developed concepts and models, e.g. in a clinical context, will be tested in cooperation with other sub-projects.


Prof. Dr. Ronald Hübner (PI)

Dr. Peter Haffke