Citizens of Western countries are asked to make an increasing number of decisions that involve risk, from decisions about how much and how to save for their old age to choices among medical treatments and medical insurance plans. At the same time, uncertainty about choice outcomes has gone up as the result of ever faster social, environmental, and technological change. Accuracy in predicting what choices people will make, at least in the aggregate, is an important determinant for the success of public policy interventions. In addition, corporate and public policy often tries to influence and modify people's choices in the face of risk and uncertainty, for example, getting people to save more of their income or getting women to invest in less conservative instruments. Understanding the processes that underlie risky decisions and the drivers of risk taking is critical to both agendas. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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