Are some deaths worse than others? The effect of 'labelling' on people's perceptions

Angela Robinson, Judith Covey, Anne Spencer, Graham Loomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper sets out to explore the extent to which perceptions regarding the ’badness’ of different types of deaths differ according to how those deaths are ’labelled’ in the elicitation procedure. In particular, we were interested in whether responses to ’contextual’ questions – where the specific context in which the deaths occur is known – differ from ’generic’ questions – where the context is unknown. Further, we set out to test whether sensitivity to the numbers of deaths differed across the ’generic’ and ’contextual’ versions of the questions. We uncovered evidence to suggest that both the perceived ’badness’ of different types of deaths and sensitivity to the numbers of deaths may differ according to whether ’generic’ or ’contextual’ descriptions are used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-455
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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