טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentTal Ofer
SubjectThe Effect of Alarms on the Perception of Small
Probabilities
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors Professor Eldad Yechiam
Professor Ido Erev
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

The aim of the current research is to examine the effect of alarms on individuals’ perceptions of risk. In a preliminary study, questionnaires were handed out to inhabitants of Sderot, close to the installation and deployment of an alarm system against rockets. The preliminary study indicates a decreased number of visits to the city after the new alarm system was deployed. Three studies tested alternative explanations for this observation in a controlled lab environment. According to the “Contingent expectancy” hypothesis, the effect of an alarm is equal to the effect of an immediate result with the same expectancy (e.g. Perry et Al., 2002). The alarm system decreased the tendency for visiting Sderot since it introduced frequent punishments. According to the “Attention to other results” Hypothesis, the negative effect of the alarm stems from the fact that the alarm makes the bad results of others more salient to the individual thus decreasing the tendency to visit Sderot. The third and weakest hypothesis assumes that the effect of the alarm is contingent on the possibility to benefit from the alarm. Thus alarms will reduce risk taking only if the individuals noting the alarm will find it hard to benefit from the information.