Vlaev, I., Chater, N., & Stewart, N. (2008). Risk preference discrepancy: A prospect relativity account of the discrepancy between risk preferences in laboratory gambles and real world investments. Journal of Behavioral Finance, 9, 132-148.

In this article, we presented evidence that people are more risk averse when investing in financial products in the real world than when they make risky choices between gambles in laboratory experiments. To provide an account for this discrepancy, we conducted experiments which showed that the range of offered investment funds that vary in their risk-reward characteristics had a significant effect on the distribution of hypothetical funds to those products. We also showed that people are able to use the context provided by the choice set in order the make relative riskiness judgments for investment products. This context dependent relativistic nature of risk preferences is proposed as a plausible explanation of the risk preference discrepancy between laboratory experiments and real-world investments. We also discuss other possible theoretical interpretations of the discrepancy.

Back