Are some deaths worse than others? The effect of 'labelling' on people's perceptions
AbstractThis paper sets out to explore the extent to which perceptions regarding the 'badness' of different types of deaths differ according to how those deaths are 'labelled' in the elicitation procedure. In particular, we were interested in whether responses to 'contextual' questions - where the specific context in which the deaths occur is known - differ from 'generic' questions - where the context is unknown. Further, we set out to test whether sensitivity to the numbers of deaths differed across the 'generic' and 'contextual' versions of the questions. We uncovered evidence to suggest that both the perceived 'badness' of different types of deaths and sensitivity to the numbers of deaths may differ according to whether 'generic' or 'contextual' descriptions are used. Qualitative data suggests two reasons why responses to 'generic' and 'contextual' questions differed: firstly, some influential variable(s) were omitted from the 'generic' descriptions and secondly, certain variables were interpreted somewhat differently once the context had been identified. The implications of our findings for 'generic' questions, such as those commonly used in health and safety and environmental studies are discussed.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.
Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep
Preferences Context effects Affect heuristic;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dubourg, W R & Jones-Lee, M W & Loomes, Graham, 1997. "Imprecise Preferences and Survey Design in Contingent Valuation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(256), pages 681-702, November.
- Sunstein, Cass R, 1997. "Bad Deaths," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 259-82, May-June.
- Subramanian, Uma & Cropper, Maureen, 2000. " Public Choices between Life Saving Programs: The Tradeoff between Qualitative Factors and Lives Saved," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 117-49, July.
- Small, Deborah A & Loewenstein, George, 2003. " Helping a Victim or Helping the Victim: Altruism and Identifiability," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 5-16, January.
- Hammitt, James K & Graham, John D, 1999. "Willingness to Pay for Health Protection: Inadequate Sensitivity to Probability?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 33-62, April.
- Slovic, Paul & Finucane, Melissa L. & Peters, Ellen & MacGregor, Donald G., 2007. "The affect heuristic," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(3), pages 1333-1352, March.
- Loomes, Graham, 2006. "(How) Can we value health, safety and the environment?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 713-736, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.