Personal experience guides behaviour more than received information


Feeling of familiarity is often based on the experience which seems to have a “special” status in risk perception and, consequently, risk behaviour. Namely, it appears that information coming from experiences guide behaviour more than the same information presented in the formal description (for example, by numbers or graphs). In a study by Weber, Shafir, and Blais (2004), participants were more willing to take a risk when they had personal experience with low probability events than when the same options were presented to them by formal descriptions. Behaviour based on the information coming from experience is proved to be more influenced by recent than distant events which is in accordance with classical reinforcement learning models (Weber et al., 2004).

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