Having Control Over and Above Situations: The Influence of Elevated Viewpoints on Risk Taking



This article examines how consumers’ exposure to the viewpoint of high versus low vertical position changes their risk-taking behavior. The author proposes that consumers’ views of scenery from a high physical elevation induce an illusory sense of control, which in turn intensifies risk taking. Multiple studies show that exposure to the viewpoint of high vertical positions increases risk taking in both laboratory settings (Studies 1a, 1b, and 1c) and real settings (Study 4). In addition, the author demonstrates that an illusory sense of control mediates the effect of an elevated viewpoint on risk taking (Study 2) and that the effect of elevation on risk taking is attenuated when people use a low-level mental construal to process visual information (Study 3).
Date made available2019

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