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Journal Article

Risk Orientations and Policy Frames

Cindy D. Kam and Elizabeth N. Simas
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 72, No. 2 (Apr., 2010), pp. 381-396
DOI: 10.1017/s0022381609990806
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1017/s0022381609990806
Page Count: 16
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Risk Orientations and Policy Frames
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Abstract

In this article, we examine the effect of citizens’ risk orientations on policy choices that are framed in various ways. We introduce an original risk orientations scale and test for the relationship between risk orientations and policy preferences using an original survey experiment. We find that individuals with higher levels of risk acceptance are more likely to prefer probabilistic outcomes as opposed to certain outcomes. Mortality and survival frames influence the choices citizens make, but so does our individual-difference measure of risk acceptance. Finally, using a unique within-subject design, we find that risk acceptance undercuts susceptibility to framing effects across successive framing scenarios. The findings suggest that citizens’ risk orientations are consequential in determining their policy views and their susceptibility to framing effects.

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