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Relationship between the framing effect and individual differences in medical students

Relationship between the framing effect and individual differences in medical students

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Recieved: 10/06/2017

Accepted: 10/17/2017

Published: 01/01/2018

p.: 17-29

DOI: 10.11621/npj.2017.0402

Keywords: decision making; framing effect; risk-readiness; rationality; tolerance ; intolerance; The Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire; self-estimate of intelligence; self-esteem risk-readiness

Available online: 01.01.2018

To cite this article:

Kornilova, T. V., Pavlova, Elizaveta M. , Krasavtseva, Yuliya V., Razvalyaeva, Anna U.. Relationship between the framing effect and individual differences in medical students. // National Psychological Journal 2017. 4. p.17-29. doi: 10.11621/npj.2017.0402

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Issue 4, 2017

Kornilova, T. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University

Pavlova, Elizaveta M. Lomonosov Moscow State University

Krasavtseva, Yuliya V. Lomonosov Moscow State University

Razvalyaeva, Anna U. Lomonosov Moscow State University


Background. Framing effect is rarely studied in relation to individual differences. In cognitive psychology, it reflects distortions in decision-making depending on the context (phrasing) of statements about alternatives, and framing is found within medical professional samples. 

Objective. The objective of the study are asfollows: 1. to identify the differences in the students of medical and non-medical universities and susceptibility to framing, 2. establish in both groups similarities of individual decision-making styles (coping with uncertainty if any) in self-assessments (intelligence, risk taking and personality) and in willingness to take risks and tolerance/intolerance to uncertainty, 3. to identify the specific relationship between susceptibility to the framing effect (FE) in medical students with their personal properties. 

Design. The paper describes the study of framing on medicine (n = 78) and psychology students (n = 122). It is demonstrated that in Kahneman and Tversky’s “Asian disease problem”, the psychology students show reframing effect while medical students don’t show difference in answers. Participants who choose different answers in negative phrasing of the issue differ in self-esteemed risk taking and intolerance for uncertainty; but there is no difference in positive version of the problem. Differences in personality profiles of the future members of medical and non-medical students have been established, both in terms of the personality variables and their associations to the dynamic regulatory systems. Medical students are characterized with less procrastination and higher risk readiness. Self-esteemed risk is correlated with risk readiness in both samples (and negatively connected to rationality within the psychology student sample). Unexpectedly, risk preparedness is also correlated with intolerance for uncertainty in both groups. Medical students are characterized by specific correlation between risk readiness and personal self-esteem (good/bad person scale). Self-esteemed risk proposed is shown to be not only connected to corresponding questionnaire scale of personal risk preparedness but also to correlate to the choice in the framing effect issues. 

Results. These and other connections report about specifics of personal characteristics structure within the group of medical students.

Fig 1. Diagrams of the deterministic and probabilistic response in the negative and positive statements for the samples of medical students, psychology students and the cumulative sample

Table 1. Mean value on scales in groups of subjects who choose different answers in the Kahnemann task

Both Versions, Negative and Positive Statement




Mean value for deterministic response

Meanvalueforprobabilistic answer


Intolerance to Uncertainty, Badner Test

t = 2.055, p = .042



Risk Self-Assessment

t = -3.263, p = .001



Psychology Students

Risk Self-Assessment

t = -2.162, p = .036



Medical Students

Intolerance to Uncertainty, Badner Test

t = 3.034, p = .003



Risk Self-Assessment

t = -2.484, p = .016



The choice in the negative statement version




Mean value for deterministic response (FE)

Meanvalueforprobabilistic response (FE not considered)


Intolerance to Uncertainty, Badner Test

t = 2.357, p = .022



Risk Self-Assessment

t = -2.837, p = .006



Medical Students

Intolerance to Uncertainty, Badner Test

t = 3.134, p = .003



Risk Self-Assessment

t = -2.550, p = .015



Table 2. Mean values and t-Studenttest for scales with differences between psychology students and medical students



t-Student Test

Mean Value in Psychology Students

Mean Value in Medical Students

Risk Preparedness

Personal Factors of Decision Making

t = -2.502, p = .014




Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire, MDMQ

t = 2.525, p = .012



Table 3. IntercorrelationsMatrix of Personal Factors of Decision Makingscales, Bandertest, Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaireand intelligence self-assessment, personality self-assessmentand risk self-assessment within the samples of psychology students and medical students.














Risk Preparedness (Personal Factors of Decision Making)











Medical Students


Rationality (Personal Factors of Decision Making)













Tolerance to uncertainty(Badner Test)













Intolerance to uncertainty (Badner Test)













Intelligence Self-Assessment













Risk Self-Assessment













Personality Self-Assessment



































































Psychology Students



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To cite this article:

Kornilova, T. V., Pavlova, Elizaveta M. , Krasavtseva, Yuliya V., Razvalyaeva, Anna U.. Relationship between the framing effect and individual differences in medical students. // National Psychological Journal 2017. 4. p.17-29. doi: 10.11621/npj.2017.0402

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