Should the messenger be shot if something wrong happens? Judging responsibility of a speaker giving uncertain statements

Gourdon, Amelie and Beck, Sarah R. (2011) Should the messenger be shot if something wrong happens? Judging responsibility of a speaker giving uncertain statements. In: Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) Meeting; 13-15 Apr 2011, Oxford, U.K.. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In three experiments we tested how a speaker predicting uncertain events using verbal probabilities or percentages is held responsible according to which uncertainty format s/he used. In experiment 1, the speaker used percentages, positive verbal probabilities or negative verbal probabilities in eight scenarios. Speakers were held more responsible if they used negative verbal probabilities rather than percentages or positive verbal probabilities. Speakers were also held more responsible when the outcome was negative than when it was positive. In experiment 2, speakers used round percentages (e.g., 70%) or precise percentages (e.g., 71%) within the same scenarios. Only speakers who used round percentages were held more responsible after a negative outcome. Across experiments 1 and 2 participants’ judgements ignored the predicted likelihood of the uncertain event. Experiment 3 replicated experiment 2 with an additional measure of the intention to recommend to another. Speakers were held more responsible for positive than for negative outcomes and when the event’s likelihood was high rather than low. Intention to recommend was rated higher after positive outcomes than after negative outcomes; this difference was bigger when the event’s likelihood was high. Level of precision had no effect on the responsibility judgements or on the intention to recommend.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Title: Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) Meeting
Uncontrolled Keywords: verbal probabilities, risk communication, responsibility judgements
Research Area: Psychology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Business and Law
Faculty of Business and Law > Kingston Business School (Leadership, HRM and Organisation) (until July 2013)
Depositing User: Amelie Gourdon - Kanhukamwe
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2013 13:06
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2013 11:23
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/25396

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