Risk perception and risk attitudes in Tokyo: A report of the first administration of DOSPERT+M in Japan

Alan Schwartz, Kimihiko Yamagishi, Norimichi Hirahara, Hirotaka Onishi, James Barnes IV, Adam Rosman, Maggie Garcia, Sam Lee, Shoshana Butler

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Domain-Specific Risk Taking scale (DOSPERT) has been used to measure risk perceptions and attitudes in several nations and cultures. Takahashi translated DOSPERT to Japanese but DOSPERT responses from Japan have never been reported. Butler et al. (2012) developed an additional medical risk domain subscale to be added to DOSPERT to form DOSPERT+M. Objective: To describe the translation of the medical risk domain subscale to Japanese and to characterize domainspecific risk attitudes in Tokyo. Methods: Members of a probability-weighted online panel representative of the Tokyo metro area were randomized to complete pairs of DOSPERT+M tasks (risk attitude, risk perception, benefit perception). We explored relationships among domains through correlational and factor analysis; we tested the hypothesis that the medical risk domain and DOSPERT's health/safety domains were uncorrelated. Participants: One hundred eighty panelists. Results: Six of the original DOSPERT items (two each in the ethics, health/safety, and financial domains) are not useable in Japan according to the Japanese Marketing Research Association code because they ask about participation in illegal activities; we thus used abbreviated versions of those domains leaving out these items. The DOSPERT+M items generally did not cluster cleanly into the expected domains, although items within the same domain usually were intercorrelated. Participants demonstrated domain-specific conventional risk attitudes, although nearly half of those assessed were perceived-risk neutral in all domains. Unlike our recently reported findings in the U.S. population, DOSPERT+M medical domain scores were associated with health/safety domain scores, although they were often more strongly associated with scores in other domains, such as recreational activities. Conclusion: The DOSPERT (and DOSPERT+M) instruments are problematic in Japan but Japanese citizens may also differ from those of other nations in their risk attitudes and perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-699
Number of pages9
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Japan
  • Medical decision making
  • Risk attitude
  • Risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


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