Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Carrie L. Wyland
Risky shift occurs when people change their decisions or opinions to become more extreme and risky when acting as part of a group, compared with acting individually; this is one form of the phenomenon known as group polarization. The result is that group decisions are bolder and more adventurous than those made by individuals alone and even riskier than the average of the individuals' opinions and decisions before group discussion. However, sometimes people in groups shift such that the group decision is actually more conservative, which is known as cautious (or conservative) shift. The group's initial tendency toward risk is important in predicting if risky shift will occur. The direction of the shift (to be more risky or more conservative) tends to be in line with ...