Do we become more cautious for others when large amounts of money are at stake?


A considerable proportion of financial decisions are made by agents acting on behalf of other people. Although people are more cautious for others when making medical decisions, this does not seem to be the case for economic decisions. However, studies with large amounts of money are particularly absent from the literature, which precludes a clear comparison to studies in the medical domain. To address this gap, we investigated the effect of outcome magnitude in two experiments where participants made choices between safe and risky options. Decision-makers were not more cautious for others over large amounts. In fact, risk-taking was accentuated for large amounts in the gain domain. We did not find self-other differences in the loss domain for either outcome magnitude. This suggests that the caution observed in medical decisions does not replicate in financial decisions with large amounts, or at least not in the same way. These results echo the concerns that have been raised about excessive risk-taking by financial agents.

Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: surrogate decision-making,outcome magnitude,risk preferences,DMFO
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: (Related URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-02-18
Accepted Date: 2021-02-18
Authors: Tunney, Richard (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4673-757X)
Ferguson, Eamonn
Batteux, Eleonore



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Repository staff only until 1 January 2050.

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record