The insurance effect: How the possession of gas masks reduces the likelihood of a missile attack

Orit E. Tykocinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

When a threat looms large in people's minds, they may seek protective measures that could mitigate the negative outcomes associated with this threat. Paradoxically, the possession of such protective measures may, in turn, inspire a sense of safety and reduce the perceived probability of the very threat that had originally triggered their acquisition. Thus, reminding people that they possess a medical insurance policy attenuated their perceived risk of suffering from health related misfortunes (Tykocinski, 2008). The current study conceptually replicates these findings and extends them to a different form of insurance. Reminding citizens in Israel of the fact that they possess gas masks significantly reduced their subjective estimates of the probability that Israel will be attacked by Iran.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Volume8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Insurance effect
  • Magical thinking
  • Missile attack
  • Protective measures
  • Risk assessments

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