See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract We compare four different risk-taking propensity measures on their ability to describe and to predict actual risky behavior in the domain of health. The risk-taking propensity measures we compare are: 1 a general measure of risk-taking propensity derived from a one-item survey question Dohmen et al. Study participants are clients of health centers around Witbank, South Africa. We provide evidence that this is not because the participants had trouble understanding the monetary trade-off questions or performed poorly in the behavioral task. We conclude by urging researchers to further test the usefulness of the one-item general measure, both in explaining health related risk-taking behavior and in other contexts.
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Judgment and Decision Making , vol. It also provides a French translation of the revised scale. Using multilevel modeling, we investigated the risk-return relationship between apparent risk taking and risk perception in 5 risk domains. The results replicate previously noted differences in reported degree of risk taking and risk perception at the mean level of analysis. The multilevel modeling shows, more interestingly, that within-participants variation in risk taking across the 5 content domains of the scale was about 7 times as large as between-participants variation.
We discuss the implications of our findings in terms of the person-situation debate related to risk attitude as a stable trait.
Keywords: risk attitude, risk perception, risk taking, personality, psychometric scale. Risk attitude is the parameter that differentiates between the utility functions of different individuals e. Popular interpretations of risk attitude, however, often consider it to be a personality trait Weber, The consideration of risk attitude as a personality trait has undergone a similar development as that of personality traits in general.
While traits were initially defined as stable i. The following two observations have been problematic for the simple expected-utility definition of risk attitude as a personality trait. More importantly, even when using the same assessment method, individuals have not shown themselves to be consistently risk seeking averse across different domains and situations, both in laboratory studies Schoemaker, and managerial contexts.
MacCrimmon and Wehrung , showed, for example, that managers have different risk attitudes when making decisions involving personal versus company money or when evaluating financial versus recreational risks.
These problems limit the predictive validity of expected-utility based assessments of risk attitude. The observed content-specificity of responses suggests that they should not be combined across content domains. Despite its obvious deficiencies the scale is still in use, primarily for lack of better alternatives.
Weber, Psychological risk-return models treat perceived riskiness as a variable that can differ between individuals and as a function of content and context Weber, They decompose observed behavior i. Apparent risk taking by the same person in two situations might differ, for example, because the decision maker perceives the risks and benefits to differ in magnitude in the two domains e. A smaller number of studies have also documented group differences in the perception of perceived benefits e.
The domain-specificity of risk taking thus seems to arise primarily from differences in the perception of the risks and possibly benefits of choice alternatives in different content domains, while the trait or true attitude towards risk that shows consistency across situations lies in the evaluation of risk as it is perceived as something that is either desirable i.
One can expect to find differences in the perception of risks and benefits in these different domains of decisions because decisions in these domains score differently on the psychological risk dimensions e. Affective reactions to risk in these different domains differ as the result of factors such as differential familiarity and controllability. Given recent evidence about the prominence of affective reactions in perceptions of risk e. Based on these insights about the diverse set of determinants of decisions under risk, Weber, Blais, and Betz developed a risk-taking scale, the Domain-Specific Risk-Taking DOSPERT Scale, that allows researchers and practitioners to assess both conventional risk attitudes defined as the reported level of risk taking and perceived-risk attitudes defined as the willingness to engage in a risky activity as a function of its perceived riskiness in five commonly encountered content domains, i.
In addition to adequate internal-consistency reliability estimates, Weber et al. Construct validity was also assessed via correlations with the results of a risky gambling task as well as with tests of gender differences. The DOSPERT Scale is additionally commended for its simultaneous measurement of multiple risk constructs such as risk taking, risk perception, and perceived-risk attitude. Weber et al. They found that, for a given participant, the level of apparent risk taking varied across risk domains, yet his her domain-specific levels of perceived risk and benefits together explained a significant proportion of this variability, and for the great majority of respondents, the relationship between apparent risk taking and risk perception across domains was negative or neutral, suggesting perceived-risk aversion.
Johnson et al. The revised scale is both shorter i. Unfortunately, in the present study, perceptions of benefits could not be collected due to time constraints, so the focus here is exclusively on apparent risk taking, perceived risk, and perceived-risk attitude. While our goal is to replicate and extend the findings reported by Weber et al. To our knowledge, it is the first time this technique is used in the context of psychological risk-return models of risky choice and in the study of the domain-specificity of apparent risk taking in general.
One of the compelling reasons for using multilevel modeling is that it allows for the decomposition of the total variance in risk taking into various components, and for the quantification and explanation of both within- and between-individuals variation in apparent risk taking. To generate a short version of the scale with items that would be interpretable by a wider range of respondents in different demographic groups, the 40 items of the original scale were revised, utilizing feedback received from previous users of the scale in different cultures, and eight new items were added.
For example, "Disagreeing with an authority figure on a major issue," now replaces "Disagreeing with your father on a major issue.
Most respondent will not have found themselves in every one of the situations described by items of the scale or even have the training or background to find themselves in all situations. Nevertheless, they seem to interpret our instructions to "indicate the likelihood that you would engage in the described activity or behavior if you were to find yourself in that situation" as implying in either a real or counterfactual fashion that they should think of themselves as being in the situation in a way in which engaging or not engaging in the described behavior were both possible or feasible.
The new set of 48 items was administered to English- and French-speaking respondents. Each of the two groups was randomly split into two sub-groups. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on the remainder of the data to investigate the psychometric properties of the revised scale in North American English- and French-speaking adult populations and to establish whether the hypothesized measurement models fit the data within and across groups. Interested readers are referred to Blais and Weber for more detail.
Item ratings are added across all items of a given subscale to obtain subscale scores. Higher scores indicate greater risk taking in the domain of the subscale. Ratings are again added across all items of a given subscale to obtain subscale scores, with higher scores suggesting perceptions of greater risk in the domain of the subscale.
The French version of the DOSPERT Scale was developed for this study using the method of back-translation, where an instrument is translated from the source to the target language, is then independently translated back into the source language, and finally the two versions of the instrument are compared until all discrepancies in meaning are resolved Brislin, Both the English and French versions of the complete risk-taking scale and the instructions and rating scale associated with the risk-perception scale are shown in the Appendix.
A frequency distribution of ages and educational levels is provided in Table 1. Chi-square tests showed that the two groups did not differ significantly in gender, age, or educational levels.
Table 1: Demographic characteristics.
Predicting (un)healthy behavior: A comparison of risk-taking propensity measures
Abstract Background Despite the continuing growth of international tourism, very little research has been done on the link between individual risk attitudes and health behaviours during travel. Our study uses a validated risk-taking questionnaire Domain-Specific Risk-Taking Scale DOSPERT and data from a smartphone application to study the association between pre-travel risk attitudes and the occurrence of behaviours during travel. Methods A prospective cohort of travellers to Thailand used a smartphone application to answer a daily questionnaire about health behaviours and events. Multiple linear regression models were used to model the relationship between DOSPERT risk-taking subdomain score and health behaviour. Results Of the 75 travellers that completed the study, 70
A Domain-Specific Risk-Taking (DOSPERT) Scale for Adult Populations
Dospery our study, individual scores on risk-taking in the health and safety subdomain of the DOSPERT questionnaire seem to be predictive of health behaviours both during travel and at home. Brown and Braver article A computational model of risk, conflict, and individual difference effects in the anterior cingulate cortex from Brain Research. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 15, Judgment and Decision Making, 1, For details see Blais and Weber It dosoert obvious that people differ in the way they resolve work-related or personal decisions that involve risk and uncertainty. Wilke, Hutchinson, Todd, and Kruger article Is risk taking used as a cue in mate choice? Men, backpackers and young travellers reported a higher willingness to take recreational risks than women, luxury travellers and older travellers.