Effects of differences in numeric ability on the perception of adversity risk to others and self

Coy Callison, Rhonda Gibson, Dolf Zillmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study used an experimental news report about confrontational robberies by adolescent groups in Mexican resorts that presented statistics with or without personalized cases of victimization. Study participants estimated the risk of harm to victims and the extent of their suffering. They also indicated their own risk and concern for their own safety. The readers' numeric ability was ascertained thereafter. A trisection of this ability showed that persons of high ability comparatively overestimated others' risk but underestimated their own; this despite indicating greater concerns for their own safety. These results were not altered by consideration of the readers' empathic, experiential, and rational traits. The incorporation of personalized cases of victimization in the news report did not appreciably influence risk assessments. The involvement of cases resulting in major bodily injury, however, increased estimates of the incidence of such robberies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Media Psychology
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Arithmetic aptitude
  • Exemplification
  • Numeric ability
  • Risk perception

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