This paper proposes a new way of differentiating among risks. We assume that an important factor in risk perception is whether people perceive risk taking as a pleasure or as a necessity to reach a goal. Two studies are presented. Study 1 examines whether different risks can be divided into two categories: the category of instrumental risks (risk-as-necessity), and the category of stimulating risks (risk-as-pleasure). The results of this study indeed show that risk can be divided into two categories: 1) stimulating risks (e.g., bungee-jumping), and 2) instrumental risks (e.g., taking a bank-loan). Study 2 tests whether the perception of instrumental risk is more rational (probability as a basis for risk estimation) and the perception of stimulating risk is more emotional (fear as a basis for risk estimation). The main effects of the analysis of variance as well as post-hoc tests confirm this assumption.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.