Perceived Consequences of Risky Behaviors: Adults and Adolescents

Ruth Beyth-Marom, Laurel Austin, Baruch Fischhoff, Claire Palmgren, Marilyn Jacobs-Quadrel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adult and adolescent Ss were asked to list possible consequences of either accepting or declining opportunities to engage in various potentially risky behaviors (e.g., drinking and driving, skipping school to go to a mall). Response patterns were quite similar for these adults and adolescents, indicating shared beliefs about the possibilities. Although taking and avoiding a risk are logically complementary actions, they did not prove to be psychologically complementary. Other comparisons showed systematic differences in the consequences produced for one-time and regular (or repeated) versions of the same behaviors, as well as for open-ended and closed-ended response modes. These results are discussed in terms of their methodological implications for studying risk perceptions, their practical implications for influencing adolescents' risk behaviors, and their theoretical implications for understanding intellectual development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-563
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1993


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceived Consequences of Risky Behaviors: Adults and Adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this