Thinking About You, Worrying About Me: Self-Other Differences in Risk Perception and the Influence of Numeracy and Emotions Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Kennedy, Lindsay A.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Research on numeracy - the ability to make sense of numbers and statistics - has focused on the relationship between numeracy and general, other-focused risk estimates - with numeracy resulting in more accurate risk estimates - while less is known about numeracy and personal risk estimates. Because individuals view themselves as less at risk than their peers (Weinstein, 1982, 1987) and emotions play an important role in risk-related decisions (e.g., Loewenstein et al., 2001), it was hypothesized that worry would have a greater effect than numeracy on personal risk estimates, and numeracy would have a greater effect than worry on other-focused risk estimates. In Studies 1a and 1b, and in Study 2, participants were provided health statistics and estimated risk for themselves and an average other, and, in Studies 1b and 2, provided behavioral intentions for the self and behavioral recommendations for others. Worry and numeracy were measured in all studies, and manipulated in Study 2. Overall, worry was a better predictor of self-focused outcomes, while numeracy and worry were found to predict other-focused outcomes. Implications for the usefulness of numeracy training programs and patient-provider interactions are discussed.
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  • In Copyright
  • Sanna, Lawrence J.
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2011

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