Expert and lay judgements of danger and recklessness in adventure sports

Philip A. Ebert*, Ian N. Durbach

*Corresponding author for this work

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We investigate differences in perceived danger and recklessness judgements by experts (experienced skiers, N=362) and laypeople (N=2080) about participation in adventure sports across the same judgemental task using a third person perspective. We investigate the relationship between danger and recklessness and the extent to which fatality frequency, as well as other contextual factors such as gender, dependants, competence, and motivations of the sports participant affect expert and laypeople judgements respectively. Experienced skiers gave lower overall danger and recklessness ratings than non-skiers. Experienced skiers’ judgements were also more sensitive than non-skiers’ to variations in the fatality rate of the activity and the competence level of the participant, yet were less sensitive to whether the event was done for external benefit such as a charity. Recklessness judgements were overall more sensitive to changes in activity descriptions than danger judgements. Our findings support the emerging picture of adventure sports participants as rational and sensitive to risk-relevant features rather than somehow pathological in their risk perception.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Risk Research
VolumeLatest Articles
Early online date28 Jun 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2022


  • Risk perception
  • Uncertainty
  • Decision making
  • Moral dimension of risk
  • Adventure sports


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