Recalled emotions and risk judgments: Field study of the 2006 Israel-lebanon War

Shosh Shahrabani, Uri Benzion, Tal Shavit

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15 Scopus citations


The current study is based on a field study of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war that was conducted in two waves, the first two weeks after the end of the war, and the second 18 months later (2008). The purpose of the study was to examine recalled emotions and perceived risks induced by manipulation using a short videoclip that recalled the sounds of the alarms and the sights of the missile attacks during the war. Before filling in the study questionnaire in 2008, the experimental group watched a short videoclip recalling the events of the war. The control group did not watch the video before filling in the questionnaire. Using the data provided by questionnaires, we analyzed the effect of recalled emotions on perceived risks in two different regions in Israel: The northern region, which was under missile attack daily during the war, and the central region, which was not under missile attacks. The videoclip had a strong effect on the level of recalled emotions in both regions, but it did not affect risk judgments. The results of the analytical framework in the northern region support both the valence approach, in which negative emotion increases pessimism about risk (Johnson & Tversky, 1983), and the modified appraisal tendency theory, which implies different effects for different emotions (Lerner & Keltner, 2000). The current study emphasizes the effects of recalled emotion in the context of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war on perceived risks among those in the northern region who were under direct attack compared to those who were not directly exposed to the war. Understanding people's responses to stressful events is crucial, not only when these events take place but also over time, since media-induced emotions can influence appraisals and decisions regarding public policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Emotions
  • Israel
  • Risk perception
  • Terrorism


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