Thursday, February 26, 2009

Familiarity and risk

We all have to take decisions about risk in our lives yet we don't always have the information to do so. Researchers at Michigan University presented students with made-up lists of food additives and roller-coaster rides and asked them to rate how dangerous the additives might be and how thrilling the rides were. The additives or roller-coaster rides with the most complicated or difficult-to-pronounce names were rated as the most dangerous or thrilling. The study fits in with previous research which suggests that people rate familiar things as less risky than unfamiliar ones, regardless of the real risks involved.

You can find out more about this research at

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