|Budget Amount *help
¥1,400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,400,000)
Fiscal Year 1995 : ¥400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥400,000)
Fiscal Year 1994 : ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,000,000)
In collectivist cultures the unit of survival has often been the group rather than the individual. It was hypothesized that people in a collectivist culture, like Japan, would feel safer in the presence of risk companions (i.e., those who are exposed to the same risk source) than when they are on their own, even when such expectations are not justifiable on the normative grounds. In Experiment 1, subjects were asked to estimate the risk level involved in six hypothetical situations with varying number of risk companions. The results indicated that the subjects'perceived risk level decreased as the number of risk companions increased. In Experiment 2, subjects were exposed to a real risk (i.e., electric shock) with varying number of risk companions. Again, the subjects estimated that they were safer with more risk companions. Thus, the two experiments verified the hypothesis. The present results suggest that people in a collectivist culture use a cognitive heuristic, which is named interdependence heuristic, in risk perception.