Predicting (un)healthy behavior: A comparison of risk-taking propensity measures
AbstractWe compare four different risk-taking propensity measures on their ability to describe and to predict actual risky behavior in the domain of health. The risk-taking propensity measures we compare are: (1) a general measure of risk-taking propensity derived from a one-item survey question (Dohmen et al., 2011), (2) a risk aversion index calculated from a set of incentivized monetary gambles (Holt & Laury, 2002), (3) a measure of risk taking derived from an incentive compatible behavioral task---the Balloon Analog Risk Task (Lejuez et al., 2002), and (4) a composite score of risk-taking likelihood in the health domain from the Domain-Specific Risk Taking (DOSPERT) scale (Weber et al., 2002). Study participants are 351 clients of health centers around Witbank, South Africa. Our findings suggest that the one-item general measure is the best predictor of risky health behavior in our population, predicting two out of four behaviors at the 5% level and the remaining two behaviors at the 10% level. The DOSPERT score in the health domain performs well, predicting one out of four behaviors at the 1% significance level and two out of four behaviors at the 10% level, but only if the DOSPERT instrument contains a hypothetical risk-taking item that is similar to the actual risky behavior being predicted. Incentivized monetary gambles and the behavioral task were unrelated to actual health behaviors; they were unable to predict any of the risky health behaviors at the 10% level. We provide evidence that this is not because the participants had trouble understanding the monetary trade-off questions or performed poorly in the behavioral task. We conclude by urging researchers to further test the usefulness of the one-item general measure, both in explaining health related risk-taking behavior and in other contexts.
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.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.
Volume (Year): 7 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Contact details of provider:
BART; CRRA; DOSPERT; monetary gambles; problem drinking; risk behavior; risky sexual behavior; risk-taking propensity; seat belt use; smoking.;
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.:
- Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor, 2007.
"Predicting Health Behaviors with an Experimental Measure of Risk Preference,"
59, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
- Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2008. "Predicting health behaviors with an experimental measure of risk preference," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1260-1274, September.
- Camerer, Colin F. & Hogarth, Robin M., 1999.
"The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework,"
1059, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
- Charness, Gary & Viceisza, Angelino, 2012.
"Comprehension and Risk Elicitation in the Field: Evidence from Rural Senegal,"
University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series
qt5512d150, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Charness, Gary & Viceisza, Angelino, 2011. "Comprehension and risk elicitation in the field: Evidence from rural Senegal," IFPRI discussion papers 1135, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe & Schupp Jürgen & Wagner Gert, 2009.
"Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences,"
ROA Research Memorandum
007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
- Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, 06.
- Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe & Schupp Jürgen & Wagner Gert G., 2009. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences," Research Memoranda 039, Maastricht : METEOR, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization.
- Miraldo, M & Galizzi, M & Stavropoulou, C, 2013. "In sickness but not in wealth: Field evidence on patients? risk preferences in the financial and health domain," Working Papers 12579, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jonathan Baron).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.