Visual imagery skills and risk attitude

Sci Rep. 2022 Dec 10;12(1):21415. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-25627-y.


Several of Kahneman and Tversky's seminal works in the 1970s found evidence of the importance of framing in decision making under risk. They hypothesized that imaginability (visual imagery ability) may play an important role in the evaluation of subjective probabilities. However, the impact of visual imagery ability on choice under risk has not yet been explored. This is the main purpose of our study. In an online experiment, we collected participants' visual imagery ability using the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire and their risk attitude using two choice-based risk elicitation tasks. Participants made their risk decisions either in an environment where risk was visualized (visual frame) or not (non-visual frame), and were randomly assigned to one of the two decision frames. Our results suggest that neither visual imagery ability nor decision frame has a substantial impact on risk attitude.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy*
  • Imagination
  • Probability
  • Surveys and Questionnaires