Participants were exposed to the ‘Asian disease’ problem (Tversky & Kahneman, 1981). When the problem was subtly framed as a medical decision problem previous findings were replicated: participants avoided the risky option when the problem was framed positively, but preferred the risky option when the problem was framed negatively. This reversal of preferences was eliminated however, when the same problem was subtly introduced as a statistical problem. The results are interpreted as evidence for the impact of context cues on the representation of decision problems. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.