The Psychology of Risk Taking Behavior book cover

The Psychology of Risk Taking Behavior

This book aims to help the reader to understand what motivates people to engage in risk taking behavior, such as participating in traffic, sports, financial investments, or courtship. The consequences of risk taking may be positive, or result in accidents and injuries, especially in traffic. The wealth of studies and theories (about 1000 references) is used to offer a cohesive, holistic view of risk motivation. The risk motivation theory is a dynamic state-trait model incorporating physiological, emotional and cognitive components of risk perception, processing and planning. If a deficit exists between desired and perceived risk, risk compensation behavior results. A feedback loop provides new information for the next perception-motivation-behavior process. Assumptions were tested and support was found with 120 subjects in a longitudinal study. The concepts and findings are discussed in relation to psychological theories and their meaning for our daily lives.

Included in series
Advances in Psychology

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Published: April 1994

Imprint: North-holland

ISBN: 978-0-444-89961-3

Contents

  • 1. What is Risk Taking Behavior? A short description of the long history of risk taking. Definitions of risk taking. The multifacetedness of risk taking. 2. How Do We Perceive Risks? Risk perception and risk acceptance. Cross-cultural aspects of risk perception. 3. Who Engages in Risk Taking Behavior? Risk taking and the theory of evolution. Risk taking and arousal. Individual (personality) differences and risk taking. Risk taking and sensation seeking. Reversal theory. 4. Which Situational Factors Influence Risk Taking Behavior? Decision making under uncertainty. Historical development of expectancy x value theories. Modern expectancy x value theories. Utility theories and risk taking. 5. How is Risk Taking Motivated and Emotionally Experienced? Risk taking and theories of motivation. Risk taking and emotions. 6. What Controls Risk Taking Behavior? Personal control: Definitions and historical concepts. Personal control and evolutionary utility. Personal control and psycho-biological consequences. Perceived control and risk taking behavior. Illusion of control. The two-process model of perceived control. 7. What are the Consequences of Risk Taking Behavior? Young people, risk taking behavior and accidents. Risk taking behavior and sport accidents. Risk taking behavior and industrial accidents. Risk taking and traffic accidents. Theories of risk taking and traffic accidents. 8. How Do We Adapt to the Desire for and the Control of Risk Taking Behavior? Risk compensation behavior and risk homeostasis theory. Technical or psychological accident reduction. 9. How Can We Explain Risk Taking Behavior Holistically? Developing risk motivation theory. Research examining risk motivation theory. 10. What Does Risk Motivation Mean for Our Daily Lives as Researchers and as Normal Risk Takers? Research implications of a motivation for risks. Implications of a risk motivation for real life. Personal conclusions. References. Author index. Subject index.

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