Experiencing risk: Higher-order risk attitudes in description- and experience-based decisions.

Christoph K. Becker, Eyal Ert, Stefan T. Trautmann*, Gijs van de Kuilen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Risky decisions are often characterized by (a) imprecision about consequences and their likelihoods that can be reduced by information collection, and by (b) unavoidable background risk. This article addresses both aspects by eliciting risk attitude, prudence, and temperance in decisions from description and decisions from experience. The results reveal a novel description-experience gap for prudence and replicate the known gap for risky decisions. While widespread prudence has been observed in decisions form description, we find no evidence of prudent decision making from experience. In decisions from experience people are strongly influenced by the sampled mean, while skewness plays a smaller role than in decisions from description.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Psychological Association


  • description-experience gap
  • higher-order risk attitudes
  • prudence
  • sampling
  • temperance


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