Risk-taking propensity across the life span and around the globe

Mata, Rui and Josef, Anika K. and Hertwig, Ralph. (2016) Risk-taking propensity across the life span and around the globe. Psychological Science, 27 (2). pp. 231-243.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/45109/

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Past empirical work suggests that aging is associated with decreases in risk taking. But are such effects universal? Life-history theory suggests that the link between age and risk taking is a function of specific reproductive strategies that can be more or less risky depending on the ecology. We assessed variation in the age-risk curve using World Values Survey data from 77 countries (N = 147,118). The results suggest that propensity for risk taking tends to decline across the life span in the vast majority of countries. In addition, there is systematic variation among countries: Countries in which hardship (e.g., high infant mortality) is higher are characterized by higher levels of risk taking and flatter age-risk curves. These findings suggest that hardship may function as a cue to guide life-history strategies. Age-risk relations thus cannot be understood without reference to the demands and affordances of the environment.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Sozial-, Wirtschafts- und Entscheidungspsychologie > Cognitive and Decision Sciences (Mata)
UniBasel Contributors:Mata, Rui
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:SAGE Publications
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:30 Oct 2017 07:24
Deposited On:30 Oct 2017 07:24

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