Behavior

Differences in strategy across the globe

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Science  19 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6241, pp. 1328
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6241.1328-c

Economists measure the extent of a person's preference for risk in a number of ways. Most commonly, they ask people to make choices between gambles—such as a 40% chance of winning $2.00 and a 60% chance of winning $1.60 versus a 40% chance of winning $3.85 and a 60% chance of winning $0.10. Chassy and Gobet offer a new measure of risk derived from the choice of opening moves in chess. They document global risk preference based on more than half a million games played by people ranked expert and above from 11 different civilizations. Civilizations differed in their risk preferences: Some favored settling for peace, whereas others preferred riskier moves.

Cognition 141, 36 (2015).

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