IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An experimental method for the elicitation of implicit attitudes to privacy risk


  • Frik, Alisa
  • Gaudeul, Alexia


We test an experimental method for the elicitation of implicit attitudes to privacy risk. We ask individuals to decide whether to incur the risk of revealing private information to other participants. This type of risk that involves a social component corresponds to privacy threats that individuals may face in the field. We derive a measure of individual attitudes to privacy risk with our method. We empirically test the validity of this measure by running a laboratory experiment with 148 participants. Our results confirm that the willingness to incur a privacy risk is driven by a complex array of factors including risk attitudes, self-reported value for private information, and general attitudes to privacy (derived from survey methods in our study). We also observe that attitudes to privacy risk depend on the order in which measures of risk attitude are elicited, but do not depend on whether there is a preexisting threat to privacy, over which participants have no control. We explain how our method can be simplified and extended for use in eliciting attitudes to a wide range of privacy risks and various types of private information.

Suggested Citation

  • Frik, Alisa & Gaudeul, Alexia, 2018. "An experimental method for the elicitation of implicit attitudes to privacy risk," MPRA Paper 87845, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:87845

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholas Bardsley & Robin Cubitt & Graham Loomes & Peter Moffatt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2009. "Experimental Economics: Rethinking the Rules," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9074.
    2. Steffen Andersen & Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & E. Rutström, 2009. "Elicitation using multiple price list formats," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(3), pages 365-366, September.
    3. Alessandro Acquisti & Curtis Taylor & Liad Wagman, 2016. "The Economics of Privacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 442-492, June.
    4. Clemente, Marco & Roulet, Thomas, 2015. "Public Opinion as a Source of Deinstitutionalization: A 'Spiral of Silence' Approach," MPRA Paper 60130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Imas, Alex, 2013. "Experimental methods: Eliciting risk preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 43-51.
    6. Alessandro Acquisti & Leslie K. John & George Loewenstein, 2013. "What Is Privacy Worth?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 249-274.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Raymond Boadi Frempong & David Stadelmann, 2021. "Risk preference and child labor: Econometric evidence," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 878-894, May.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Galliera, Arianna, 2018. "Self-selecting random or cumulative pay? A bargaining experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 106-120.
    2. Sophie Massin & Antoine Nebout & Bruno Ventelou, 2018. "Predicting medical practices using various risk attitude measures," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(6), pages 843-860, July.
    3. Alejandro Arrieta & Ariadna García‐Prado & Paula González & José Luis Pinto‐Prades, 2017. "Risk attitudes in medical decisions for others: An experimental approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(S3), pages 97-113, December.
    4. Geraldine Bocquého & Marc Deschamps & Jenny Helstroffer & Julien Jacob & Majlinda Joxhe, 2018. "Risk and Refugee Migration," Working Papers of BETA 2018-16, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    5. Caleb S. Fuller, 2019. "Is the market for digital privacy a failure?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 180(3), pages 353-381, September.
    6. Cecere, Grazia & Le Guel, Fabrice & Soulié, Nicolas, 2012. "Perceived Internet privacy concerns on social network in Europe," MPRA Paper 41437, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Holzmeister, Felix, 2017. "oTree: Ready-made apps for risk preference elicitation methods," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 33-38.
    8. Bauermeister, Golo & Musshoff, Oliver, 2016. "Risk Aversion and Inconsistencies - Does the Choice of Risk Elicitation Method and Display Format Influence the Outcomes?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235348, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Frank Ebbers & Jan Zibuschka & Christian Zimmermann & Oliver Hinz, 2021. "User preferences for privacy features in digital assistants," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 31(2), pages 411-426, June.
    10. Habib, Sameh & Friedman, Daniel & Crockett, Sean & James, Duncan, 2015. "Eliciting risk preferences: Text vs. graphical multiple price lists," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship Market Design: Theory and Pragmatics SP II 2015-501, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    11. Zahra Murad & Martin Sefton & Chris Starmer, 2016. "How do risk attitudes affect measured confidence?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 21-46, February.
    12. Zack Dorner & Daniel A. Brent & Anke Leroux, 2019. "Preferences for Intrinsically Risky Attributes," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 95(4), pages 494-514.
    13. Biener, Christian & Eling, Martin & Lehmann, Martin, 2020. "Balancing the desire for privacy against the desire to hedge risk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 608-620.
    14. Tamás Csermely & Alexander Rabas, 2016. "How to reveal people’s preferences: Comparing time consistency and predictive power of multiple price list risk elicitation methods," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 107-136, December.
    15. Giuseppe Attanasi & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Valentina Rotondi & Daria Vigani, 2018. "Lottery- and survey-based risk attitudes linked through a multichoice elicitation task," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 84(3), pages 341-372, May.
    16. Holzmeister, Felix & Stefan, Matthias, 2019. "The Risk Elicitation Puzzle Revisited: Across-Methods (In)consistency?," OSF Preprints pj9u2, Center for Open Science.
    17. Rehse, Dominik & Tremöhlen, Felix, 2020. "Fostering participation in digital public health interventions: The case of digital contact tracing," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-076, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    18. Alexia Gaudeul, 2013. "Social preferences under uncertainty," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-024, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    19. Helia Marreiros & Mirco Tonin & Michael Vlassopoulos & M.C. Schraefel, 2016. "“Now that you mention it”: A Survey Experiment on Information, Salience and Online Privacy," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS34, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    20. Christian König-Kersting & Johannes Lohse & Anna Louisa Merkel, 2020. "Active and Passive Risk-Taking," Working Papers 2020-04, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.

    More about this item


    privacy; attitudes; disclosure; risk; control; personal information; laboratory experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:87845. 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: . General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joachim Winter (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.