Leadership

Responsibility Effects In Decision Making Under Risk

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Executive Summary

The authors systematically explore decision situations in which a decision maker bears responsibility for somebody else's outcomes as well as for her own in situations of payoff equality. In the gain domain they confirm the intuition that being responsible for somebody else's payoffs increases risk aversion. This is however not attributable to a 'Cautious shift' as often thought. Indeed, looking at risk attitudes in the loss domain, they find an increase in risk seeking under responsibility. This raises issues about the nature of various decision biases under risk, and to what extent changed behavior under responsibility may depend on a social norm of caution in situations of responsibility versus naive corrections from perceived biases.

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