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Experiencing Psychological Processes and Understanding their Implications
Unformatted Document Text:  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

Authors: Transue, John.
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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


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