Risk Analysis

Evaluating the Simplified Conjoint Expected Risk Model: Comparing the Use of Objective and Subjective Information

Journal Article

The simplified Conjoint Expected Risk (CER) model by Holtgrave and Weber posits that perceived risk is a linear combination of the subjective judgments of the probabilities of harm, benefit, and status quo, and the expected harm and benefit of an activity. It modifies Luce and Weber's original CER model—that uses objective information to evaluate financial gambles—to accommodate activities such as health/technology activities where values of the model variables are subjective. If the simplified model is a valid modification of the original model, its performance should not be sensitive to the use of subjective information. However, because people may evaluate information differently when objective information is provided to them than when they generate information on their own, the performance of the simplified CER model may not be robust to the source of model‐variable information. We compared the use of objective and subjective information, and results indicate that the estimates of the simplified CER model parameters and the proportion of variance in risk judgments accounted for by the model are similar under these two conditions. Thus, the simplified CER model is viable with activities for which harm and benefit information is subjective.

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