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Psychological rewards and bad risks: the roles of prosocial, antisocial, moral and immoral attitudes, values and beliefs as determinants of individual risk-taking behaviour: a framework for further research

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Joan Harvey, Dr George Erdos


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This paper examines some of the psychological factors which may lead an individual to take decisions which are neither optimal nor beneficial to them in terms of risk. The particular psychological factors under consideration are: altruism vs. selfishness, heroism, saving/giving/losing face, anger and retaliation. It uses findings from the authors' own work and research in other domains to present a framework which attempts to account for behaviours which may be known to be relatively risky and with potentially poor outcomes for the individual but which are nevertheless selected over more rational behaviours. The notion of prosocial behaviours and morality have been incorporated into models explaining many areas of behaviour, including that at the workplace, from absenteeism to job satisfaction, but less so into models of risk. This paper evaluates the evidence for these factors influencing risk and decision making and proposes different types of drivers of behaviour as part of a framework for incorporating them into future risk research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harvey J, Erdos G

Editor(s): Bedford, T., Van Gelder, P.H.A.

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 14th European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL)

Year of Conference: 2003

Pages: 769-773

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9789058095510