### Abstract

Original language | English |
---|---|

Pages (from-to) | 1453-1467 |

Number of pages | 15 |

Journal | Journal of Applied Social Psychology |

Volume | 27 |

Issue number | 16 |

Publication status | Published - 1997 |

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**The effect of catastrophe potential on the interpretation of numerical probabilities of the occurrence of hazards.** / Verplanken, Bas.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

*Journal of Applied Social Psychology*, vol. 27, no. 16, pp. 1453-1467.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - The effect of catastrophe potential on the interpretation of numerical probabilities of the occurrence of hazards

AU - Verplanken, Bas

PY - 1997

Y1 - 1997

N2 - Two studies with a total or 180 undergraduates demonstrated that identical numerical probabilities of the occurrence of hazards are judged as higher when these involve potential catastrophic compared with noncatastrophic hazards. In the 1st study, 153 Ss were presented with 15 catastrophic and 15 noncatastrophic hazards in a questionnaire. Each hazard was given a numerical probability of 1 in 10, 1 in 1,000, or 1 in 100,000. Ss were asked to judge how large or small the probability was that a hazard would occur on a response scale of very large to very small. Numerical probabilities were rated as larger when they concerned hazards with catastrophic potential. Controlling for perceived benefits did not change the effect of catastrophe potential on Ss' responses. A 2nd study with 27 Ss presented a catastrophic vs a noncatastrophic scenario with the same set of probabilities as study 1. This study, which controlled for possible confounds (e.g., base rate), showed similar results. Results suggest that verbal interpretations of numerical probabilities of the occurrence of hazards include more than the probability itself. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).

AB - Two studies with a total or 180 undergraduates demonstrated that identical numerical probabilities of the occurrence of hazards are judged as higher when these involve potential catastrophic compared with noncatastrophic hazards. In the 1st study, 153 Ss were presented with 15 catastrophic and 15 noncatastrophic hazards in a questionnaire. Each hazard was given a numerical probability of 1 in 10, 1 in 1,000, or 1 in 100,000. Ss were asked to judge how large or small the probability was that a hazard would occur on a response scale of very large to very small. Numerical probabilities were rated as larger when they concerned hazards with catastrophic potential. Controlling for perceived benefits did not change the effect of catastrophe potential on Ss' responses. A 2nd study with 27 Ss presented a catastrophic vs a noncatastrophic scenario with the same set of probabilities as study 1. This study, which controlled for possible confounds (e.g., base rate), showed similar results. Results suggest that verbal interpretations of numerical probabilities of the occurrence of hazards include more than the probability itself. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).

M3 - Article

VL - 27

SP - 1453

EP - 1467

JO - Journal of Applied Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Applied Social Psychology

SN - 0021-9029

IS - 16

ER -