Risk and Rationalization – The role of affect and cognitive dissonance for sexual risk taking
This paper analyzes the mechanisms underlying excessive sexual risk taking in the presence of HIV. Drawing ideas from psychology on decision-making processes and risk evaluation, a theoretical model interacting affect-induced myopia and cognitive dissonance is developed and analyzed. The results of the theoretical analysis suggest that the effect of rationalization of personal risk depends on the risk of being HIV positive. Although rationalization causes excessive risk taking behavior for individuals with a relatively low lifetime risk, it may prevent fatalism among individuals whose lifetime risk of HIV is perceived as overwhelming.
|Date of creation:||21 Apr 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden|
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