8

**Illness **

If Program A is adopted, 400 people will die.

If Program B is adopted, there is a 1/3 probability that nobody will die,

and a 2/3 probability that 600 people will die.

Which of the two programs would you favor?

Program A

Program B

** **

**Flu **

If Program A is adopted, 200 people will be saved.

If Program B is adopted, there is a 1/3 probability that 600 people will be

saved, and a 2/3 probability that no people will be saved.

Which of the two programs would you favor?

Program A

Program B

I ask the class to to take as much time as they need, and mark their choice. Then I write

on the board Flu and Illness with Program A and Program B under each, and tally up

the class’s choices. In my experience, the distributions fall fairly close to what Tversky,

Kahneman and others have found. When the choice is between guaranteed gain (saving

200 people) and a risky option (1/3 chance of saving everybody), people tend to choose

the guaranteed gain by large majorities. On the other hand, when the choice is between

a guaranteed loss (400 will die) and a risky option (a 1/3 chance that nobody will die),

people tend to choose the risky option (Druckman 2001). The response patterns differ