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The framing of risks and the communication of subjective probabilities for victimizations


Krumpal, Ivar; Rauhut, Heiko; Böhr, Dorothea; Naumann, Elias (2011). The framing of risks and the communication of subjective probabilities for victimizations. Quality and Quantity, 6:1331-1348.

Abstract

What does 'likely' mean, when respondents estimate the risk to become a victim of crime? We apply prospect theory to derive hypotheses of framing-effects on perceptions of risk. Victimization risks can either be interpreted as gains (?being spared of offences?) or as losses (?becoming a victim of crime?). Because losses are perceived as more severe, respondents will state lower subjective victimization probabilities in the loss-frame, compared to the gain-frame. We demonstrate such a framing-effect with data from an experimental survey. Furthermore, we show that the meaning of vague quantifiers varies with the frequency and the severity of the event. Respondents assign to the same vague quantifiers (e.g. 'unlikely') higher likelihoods in terms of percentages for frequent and for less severe events than for infrequent and for severe events. Because respondents do not use vague quantifiers consistently, it is problematic to compare subjective risks for different victimizations.

Abstract

What does 'likely' mean, when respondents estimate the risk to become a victim of crime? We apply prospect theory to derive hypotheses of framing-effects on perceptions of risk. Victimization risks can either be interpreted as gains (?being spared of offences?) or as losses (?becoming a victim of crime?). Because losses are perceived as more severe, respondents will state lower subjective victimization probabilities in the loss-frame, compared to the gain-frame. We demonstrate such a framing-effect with data from an experimental survey. Furthermore, we show that the meaning of vague quantifiers varies with the frequency and the severity of the event. Respondents assign to the same vague quantifiers (e.g. 'unlikely') higher likelihoods in terms of percentages for frequent and for less severe events than for infrequent and for severe events. Because respondents do not use vague quantifiers consistently, it is problematic to compare subjective risks for different victimizations.

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1 citation in Web of Science®
2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Response effects, framing, vague quantifiers, prospect theory, conversational norms
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:29 Apr 2014 12:56
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:51
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0033-5177
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-010-9336-6

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