The fast and the dangerous: the speed of events influences risk judgements. Academic Article uri icon


  • A risk-as-feelings approach suggests that factors irrelevant to the potential risk can influence risk perception. This investigation focused on the speed of events as one such factor. Negative events that occur relatively quickly were judged as more likely to occur than events that occur more slowly. Speed influenced risk perception when it was salient and differences in risk perception were reduced when it was not salient. Further, the likelihood of a negative outcome was judged to be more likely when the same event was described as occurring relatively quickly compared to slowly. Even when only the speed at which information was presented changed, faster events were judged to be riskier than slower events. Theoretically, these findings suggest that speed of an event contributes to risk judgements and suggest speed may be the reason people fear fast but low incidence events and fail to fear slower but higher incidence events.

published proceedings

  • Br J Soc Psychol

altmetric score

  • 13.35

author list (cited authors)

  • Lench, H. C., & Flores, S. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Lench, Heather C||Flores, Sarah A

publication date

  • March 2012