Researchers at the Universities of Warwick and Keele are being supported by the Economic and Social Research Council to watch the popular game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The globally broadcast show is a treasure trove of data on how all sorts of people of different ages and genders and nationalities perceive and act on risk.
One of the researchers, economist Professor Ian Walker from the University of Warwick said:
“Many decisions involve weighing up potential gains and losses whose magnitudes are uncertain and where the risks are large. Most obviously this happens in financial markets where people make decisions about investing money.
But it’s not just money - knowing how people feel about risk is central to a wide range of government policies from building motorways to providing health care. Governments are in the business for reducing the risks that we cannot easily insure against. The risks of being mugged, catching a disease, and even the "risk" of living a long time are just a few examples - and these motivate governments to provide police, immunisation programmes, and pensions. Policy makers need to know how much we value decreases in risk - without knowing this they cannot invest in the right amount of risk reduction.”
Peter Dunn | alphagalileo
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