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Assessing small non-zero perceptions of chance: The case of H1N1 (swine) flu risks

Bruine de Bruin, W, Parker, AM and Maurer, J (2011) Assessing small non-zero perceptions of chance: The case of H1N1 (swine) flu risks. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 42 (2). 145 - 159 . ISSN 0895-5646

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Abstract

Feelings of invulnerability, seen in judgments of 0% risk, can reflect misunderstandings of risk and risk behaviors, suggesting increased need for risk communication. However, judgments of 0% risk may be given by individuals who feel invulnerable, and by individuals who are rounding from small non-zero probabilities. We examined the effect of allowing participants to give more precise responses in the 0-1% range on the validity of reported probability judgments. Participants assessed probabilities for getting H1N1 influenza and dying from it conditional on infection, using a 0-100% visual linear scale. Those responding in the 0-1% range received a follow-up question with more options in that range. This two-step procedure reduced the use of 0% and increased the resolution of responses in the 0-1% range. Moreover, revised probability responses improved predictions of attitudes and self-reported behaviors. Hence, our two-step procedure allows for more precise and more valid measurement of perceived invulnerability.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Business (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2012 14:22
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:40
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11166-011-9113-5
Status: Published
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Identification Number: 10.1007/s11166-011-9113-5
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/74531

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