Understanding cumulative risk

  title={Understanding cumulative risk},
  author={Rachel McCloy and Ruth M. J. Byrne and Philip N. Johnson-Laird},
  journal={Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology},
  pages={499 - 515}
This paper summarizes the theory of simple cumulative risks—for example, the risk of food poisoning from the consumption of a series of portions of tainted food. Problems concerning such risks are extraordinarily difficult for naïve individuals, and the paper explains the reasons for this difficulty. It describes how naïve individuals usually attempt to estimate cumulative risks, and it outlines a computer program that models these methods. This account predicts that estimates can be improved… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Understanding Cumulative Risk Perception from Judgments and Choices: An Application to Flood Risks
It is found that participants' cumulative risk judgments are well represented by a bimodal distribution, with a group that severely underestimates the risk and a groups that moderately overestimates it.
The Cognitive Basis of Joint Probability Judgments
Sundh, J. 2019. The Cognitive Basis of Joint Probability Judgments. Processes, Ecology, and Adaption. Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences 166.
Are choices based on conditional or conjunctive probabilities in a sequential risk‐taking task?
URL: h Abstract In this study, we examined participants' choice behavior in a sequential risk‐taking task. Wewere especially interested in the extent to which participants focus on the immediate next
“If only” counterfactual thoughts about exceptional actions
The results indicate that the tendency to change an exceptional action to be like a usual one is guided by the optimality of the counterfactual outcome more than the exceptionality or justifiability of the action.
The power of representation and interpretation: Doubling statistical reasoning performance with icons and frequentist interpretations of ambiguous numbers
In an ongoing debate about statistical reasoning competency, one view claims that pictorial representations help tap into the frequency coding mechanisms, whereas another view argues that pictorial
When and for whom do frequencies facilitate performance? On the role of numerical literacy
The three present studies revisited prior work with cumulative probability, Bayesian reasoning, and scenario risk assessments to study the effects of numeracy on frequency facilitation and consistently failed to replicate previous findings of interactions; however, a more consistent finding emerged of a straightforward frequency effect.
Moral judgments of risky choices: A moral echoing effect
Two experiments examined moral judgments about a decision-maker’s choices when he chose a sure-thing, 400 out of 600 people will be saved, or a risk, a two-thirds probability to save everyone and a
Trust into Collective Privacy? The Role of Subjective Theories for Self-Disclosure in Online Communication
In order to build and maintain social capital in their Online Social Networks, users need to disclose personal information, a behavior that at the same time leads to a lower level of privacy. In this
23 Reasoning and Problem Solving
This chapter provides a revised review of the psychological literature on reasoning and problem solving by discussing knowledge representations and strategies, including production systems, parallel distributed processing systems, algorithms, and heuristics.


Judging Cumulative Risk1
The accuracy of young adults' perceptions of how cumulative risks to life, health, and property change over time was tested by asking subjects to judge the long-term probabilities associated with
Evidential impact of base rates
In many contexts people are required to assess the probability of some target event (e.g., the diagnosis of a patient or the sales of a textbook) on the basis of (a) the base-rate frequency of the
Probabilistic risk analysis : foundations and methods
Probabilistic risk analysis aims to quantify the risk caused by high technology installations. Increasingly, such analyses are being applied to a wider class of systems in which problems such as lack
What does it mean to know a cumulative risk? Adolescents' perceptions of short‐term and long‐term consequences of smoking
  • P. Slovic
  • Psychology, Environmental Science
  • 2000
A particularly important aspect of risk is its cumulative nature, when exposure to a hazard occurs repeatedly over time. The degree to which people understand cumulative risk has important
Motivation Influences the Underestimation of Cumulative Risk
The authors suggest that motivational processes can be an additional force in the generation of cumulative risk estimates as well as indirectly through its effect on the perceived risk of the present partner.
Cognitive processes in judging cumulative risk over different periods of time
Naive probability: a mental model theory of extensional reasoning.
The theory predicts several phenomena of reasoning about absolute probabilities, including typical biases, and explains how naive reasoners can infer posterior probabilities without relying on Bayes's theorem.
The Psychology of Contraceptive Surprises: Cumulative Risk and Contraceptive Effectiveness1
Faulty understanding of the longterm implications of contraceptive effectiveness information may undermine peoples abilities to make informed contraceptive choices.
Effects of Describing Long-Term Risks as Cumulative or Noncumulative
It is not known whether carcinogens act cumulatively or are noncumulative risks for which any single exposure may cause a tumor. Subjects in an experimental study w m assigned to take either