This paper examines the effect of characteristics of the decision situation and of the decision maker on decision processes and outcomes in the context of risky choice. Male and female undergraduate students were presented with decisions from different domains of life. For each decision they indicated the likelihood with which they would use each of five decision modes (i.e., ways of making the decision): by following someone's advice, by weighing pros and cons, by following their intuition, etc. They also chose between two courses of action described for each decision and rated the perceived riskiness of both alternatives. We found that the content domain of the decision and/or the gender (or the interaction of both) of the decision maker influenced decision mode usage, and risk perception, behavior, and preference (derived within a risk-return model of risky choice). These results have implications for educational interventions and decision aids that attempt to influence or change the risky decisions of target populations.
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