Research Repository

How Well Do We Know Our Inner Daredevil? Probing the Relationship Between Self-Report and Behavioral Measures of Risk Taking

Rolison, Jonathan J and Pachur, Thorsten (2017) 'How Well Do We Know Our Inner Daredevil? Probing the Relationship Between Self-Report and Behavioral Measures of Risk Taking.' Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 30 (2). pp. 647-657. ISSN 0894-3257

STD_Study_Accepted.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


To measure a person's risk‐taking tendency, research has relied interchangeably on self‐report scales (e.g., “Indicate your likelihood of engaging in the risky behavior”) and more direct measures, such as behavioral tasks (e.g., “Do you accept or reject the risky option?”). It is currently unclear, however, how the two approaches map upon each other. We examined the relationship between self‐report likelihood ratings for risky choice in a monetary gamble task and actual choice, and tested how the relationship is affected by task ambiguity (i.e., when part of the information about risks and benefits is missing) and age. Five hundred participants (aged 19–85 years) were presented with 27 gambles, either in an unambiguous or an ambiguous condition. In a likelihood rating task, participants rated for each gamble the likelihood that they would accept it. In a separate choice task, they were asked to either accept or reject each gamble. Analyses using a signal‐detection approach showed that people's likelihood ratings discriminated between accept and reject cases in their choices rather well. However, task ambiguity weakened the association between likelihood ratings and choice. Further, older adults' likelihood ratings anticipated their choices more poorly than younger adults'. We discuss implications of these findings for existing approaches to the study of risk‐taking propensity, which have often relied on self‐reported risk tendency for ambiguous activities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: risk taking; signal detection theory; self-report; decision making; aging; ambiguity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2016 11:12
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:40

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item