Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Who takes risks?

10.08.2011
Study reveals that risk-taking behavior of women and men, adolescents and adults, departs from assumptions related to gender and age

A forthcoming paper in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, by Bernd Figner, Research Scientist at the Center for Decision Sciences (http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/decisionsciences) at Columbia Business School, and Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the University of Amsterdam; and Professor Elke Weber, Co-Director, Center for Decision Sciences and the Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business, Management at Columbia Business School, depicts that the reality of who takes risks and when goes beyond stereotypes. The paper reveals how adolescents can be as cool-headed as adults, and in some realms, women take more risks than men.

The researchers' discoveries challenge the assumption that women take fewer risks than men, and that adolescents do not consider consequences when making decisions. The study finds that men are willing to take more risks in finances. On the other hand, women take more social risks – examples include starting a new career in their mid-thirties or addressing an unpopular issue in a meeting at work.

The researchers believe that these differences derive from the different ways men and women perceive risks. Professor Weber explains, "That difference in perception may be partly because of how familiar men and women are with certain situations. If you have more experience with a risky situation, you may perceive it to be not as risky."

Adolescents are known for risky behaviors. However, when they think calmly about a situation in an experiment, adolescents can be just as cautious and careful as adults and children. One important difference between the lab and the real world is the extent to which a scenario involves emotion. In an experiment where adolescents' emotions were strongly triggered (with the Columbia Card Task, a gambling task in which they made stepwise decisions of increasing risk and got immediate feedback on how good or bad they were doing, a situation much closer to real-world incremental or dynamic risk decisions), they took bigger risks than children and adults, just as observed in real world settings.

"Emotion impacts decisions about risk-taking in all age groups, not just adolescents," Bernd Figner says. "And the emotion doesn't necessarily have to be triggered from the decision situation itself. For example, if you're angry about an argument, you might later drive too fast on the highway."

The researchers aim to understand when and how people take risks, in order to help people avoid risky decisions that they may regret.

About Columbia Business School

Led by Dean Glenn Hubbard, the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School is at the forefront of management education for a rapidly changing world. The school's cutting-edge curriculum bridges academic theory and practice, equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset to recognize and capture opportunity in a competitive business environment. Beyond academic rigor and teaching excellence, the school offers programs that are designed to give students practical experience making decisions in real-world environments. The school offers MBA and Executive MBA (EMBA) degrees, as well as non-degree Executive Education programs. For more information, visit www.gsb.columbia.edu.

About Current Directions in Psychological Science

Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, publishes concise reviews on the latest advances in theory and research spanning all of scientific psychology and its applications.

Sona Rai | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.columbia.edu

Further reports about: Business School Business Vision MBA Psychological Science

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>