CSU (csu@brain.wph.uq.oz.au)
12 Oct 1995 08:57:59 -0500

Lindsay Oades writes,

>..... Is it only after actually conducting an experiment which is either invalidated
>(threatening) or potentially could have been that they come to anticipate that certain
>actions may have negative consequence. That is, is a young person who has had sex
>without a condom more likely to construe this act as threatening, dangerous, risky (I'm
>not sure which word to use) as compared to say a young person who has not had sex?

Regarding the latter scenario, there are alternative views the young person might take, e.g:
if I get away with it once then I can get away with it another time, it won't happen to me
or I am willing to take the chance.

Regarding what I meant by a feasibility study, you could either interview some youths
about what risk means to them and how they make choices in such situations or you could
develop a grid with 'high' and 'low' risk situations as elements and see what constructs are
generated/how the situations are rated. A questionaire could also do this, eg is it riskier to
your health to a)have unprotected sex b)smoke cigarettes or c) bungy jump (a distant event
may be perceived as less risky for some than an immediate issue though the risk is
greater) or what are the 10 most risky things you have done?

There are lots of ways a small scale study could be conducted to see how youth perceive
risk and whether it restrains or challenges people.


Bob Green