Little attention has been devoted to the relationship between risk preference and cooperation. In all previous studies, the risk preference elicited in an individual choice task was utilized to account for differences in cooperative behavior in social dilemmas. The resulting findings were mixed. Some studies showed that risk-seeking cooperated more than risk-averse individuals. Other studies showed exactly the opposite.
The present study tested the existence of a cognitive schema that guides people's evaluations of the likelihood that observed problem solving processes will succeed. The hypothesized schema consisted of attributes that were found to distinguish between retrospective case reports of successful and unsuccessful real world problem solving (Lipshitz and Bar Ilan, 1996). Participants were asked to evaluate the likelihood of success of identical cases of problem solving that differed in the presence or absence of diagnosis, the selection of appropriate or inappropriate solutions, and the pairing of diagnosis with a appropriate or non-appropriate solutions. Consistent with the proposition, diagnosis affected perceived likelihood of success, albeit only when solution quality was held constant and appropriate diagnosis with a compatible solution produced higher perceived likelihood of success than appropriate diagnosis with incompatible solutions. In addition, results showed that solution quality plays a significant role, and compatibility with the six phase rational model plays no role in judging likelihood of success.
The goal of this paper is to propose a theoretical framework that integrates between what has been traditionally presented in the risk literature as two opposing perspectives: the probabilistic and the contextualist. Acknowledging the differences between the two, we argue that a reconciliation of both could deepen and expand our understanding of risk, enlarge the scope and utilization of research methodologies, and bridge between lay people's and experts' notions of risk. This line of thinking reflects a dialectical approach in suggesting integration ("synthesis"), while acknowledging the existence of differences and oppositions ("antitheses"). Bruner's conceptualization (1986) of two irreducible and at the same time possibly integrated modes of thought can serve as a promising line of research in studying risk. We claim that the two perspectives, the probabilistic and the contextualist, represent two different approaches to understanding and studying risk and that any attempt to reduce or ignore one at the expense of the other would result in a limited understanding of the phenomenon.