HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Co-Director, Women and Public Policy Program
Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government


Due to betrayal aversion, people take risks less willingly when the agent of uncertainty is another person rather than nature. Individuals in four countries (Brazil, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United States) confronted either a binary-choice trust game or a risky decision offering the same payoffs and probabilities. Risk acceptance was calibrated by asking individuals their “minimal acceptable probability” (MAP) for securing the high payoff that would make them just willing to accept the risky rather than the sure payoff. People’s MAPs are significantly higher when another person rather than nature determines the outcome. This indicates betrayal aversion.


Bohnet, Iris, Fiona Greig, Benedikt Herrmann, and Richard Zeckhauser. "Betrayal Aversion on Four Continents." KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP06-005, February 2006.