Do our risk preferences change when we make decisions for others? A meta-analysis of self-other differences in decisions involving risk

Eleonore Batteux, Eamonn Ferguson, Richard Tunney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Are we more risk-averse or risk-seeking when we make decisions on behalf of other people as opposed to ourselves? So far, findings have not been able to provide a clear and consistent answer.

METHOD: We propose a meta-analysis to assess whether self-other differences vary according to particular features of the decision. We reviewed 78 effect sizes from 49 studies (7,576 participants).

RESULTS: There was no overall self-other difference, but there were moderating effects of domain and frame. Decisions in the interpersonal domain were more risk-averse for self than for other. Decisions in the medical domain were more risk-seeking for self than for other. There were no overall self-other differences in the financial domain, however there was a moderating effect of frame: decisions in a gain frame were more risk-averse for self than other whereas decisions in a loss frame were more risk-seeking for self than other. This effect of frame was slightly different overall and in the medical domain, where self-other differences occurred in a loss frame but not in a gain frame.

CONCLUSION: Future work should continue to investigate how the specific content and context of the decision impacts self-other differences in order to understand the effects of domain and frame we report.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0216566
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 Batteux et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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