Risk attitudes of children and adults: choices over small and large probability gains and losses
In this paper we examine how risk attitudes change with age. We present participants from age 5 to 64 with choices between simple gambles and the expected value of the gambles. The gambles are over both gains and losses, and vary in the probability of the non-zero payoff. Surprisingly, we find that many participants are risk seeking when faced with high-probability prospects over gains and risk averse when faced with small-probability prospects. Over losses we find the exact opposite. Children’s choices are consistent with the underweighting of low-probability events and the overweighting of high-probability ones. This tendency diminishes with age, and on average adults appear to use the objective probability when evaluating risky prospects.
|Date of creation:||01 Jan 1999|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1285 University of Oregon, 435 PLC, Eugene, OR 97403-1285|
Phone: (541) 346-8845
Fax: (541) 346-1243
Web page: http://economics.uoregon.edu/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Kagel, John H & MacDonald, Don N & Battalio, Raymond C, 1990.
"Tests of "Fanning Out" of Indifference Curves: Results from Animal and Human Experiments,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 912-21, September.
- Don MacDonald & John Kagel & Raymond Battalio, 1990. "Tests of 'fanning out' of indifference curves: Results from animal and human experiments," Framed Field Experiments 00165, The Field Experiments Website.
- Colin Camerer, 1998. "Bounded Rationality in Individual Decision Making," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 163-183, September.
- Machina, Mark J, 1987. "Choice under Uncertainty: Problems Solved and Unsolved," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 121-54, Summer.
- Camerer, Colin, 1998. "Bounded Rationality in Individual Decision Making," Working Papers 1029, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Tversky, Amos & Slovic, Paul & Kahneman, Daniel, 1990. "The Causes of Preference Reversal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 204-17, March.
- Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & MacDonald, Don N, 1985. "Animals' Choices over Uncertain Outcomes: Some Initial Experimental Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 597-613, September.
- Camerer, Colin F & Ho, Teck-Hua, 1994. "Violations of the Betweenness Axiom and Nonlinearity in Probability," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 167-96, March.
- Wu, George & Gonzalez, Richard, 1998. "Common Consequence Conditions in Decision Making under Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 115-39, April.
- Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
- Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
- Isaac, R Mark & James, Duncan, 2000. "Just Who Are You Calling Risk Averse?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 177-87, March.
- Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
- Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & Nancy Lutz & V. Padmanbhan, 1997. "Playing it Safe: Men, Women, and Risk Aversion," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-42, Monash University, Department of Economics.
- Camerer, Colin F, 1989. "An Experimental Test of Several Generalized Utility Theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 61-104, April.
- Holt, Charles A, 1986. "Preference Reversals and the Independence Axiom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 508-15, June.
- Schoemaker, Paul J H, 1982. "The Expected Utility Model: Its Variants, Purposes, Evidence and Limitations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 529-63, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:1999-2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bill Harbaugh)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.