What risks do people perceive in everyday life? A perspective gained from the experience sampling method (ESM)

Robin M. Hogarth, Mariona Portell, Anna Cuxart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The experience sampling method (ESM) was used to collect data from 74 part-time students who described and assessed the risks involved in their current activities when interrupted at random moments by text messages. The major categories of perceived risk were short term in nature and involved "loss of time or materials" related to work and "physical damage" (e.g., from transportation). Using techniques of multilevel analysis, we demonstrate effects of gender, emotional state, and types of risk on assessments of risk. Specifically, females do not differ from males in assessing the potential severity of risks but they see these as more likely to occur. Also, participants assessed risks to be lower when in more positive self-reported emotional states. We further demonstrate the potential of ESM by showing that risk assessments associated with current actions exceed those made retrospectively. We conclude by noting advantages and disadvantages of ESM for collecting data about risk perceptions. © 2007 Society for Risk Analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1427-1439
JournalRisk Analysis
Volume27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007

Keywords

  • Experience sampling method
  • Gender differences
  • Multilevel analysis
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk perception
  • Simultaneous vs. retrospective judgment

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