The Effect of Gender on Risk Propensity
Mentor:Virgil Adams III, Ph.D., Program Chair & Professor of Psychology, California State University Channel Islands
Many have explored the gender differences between men and women. Among these are differences in risk taking behavior such as drinking while driving and seat belt wearing habits (West and Moskal,1996). Furthermore, previous studies have found that men show higher scores in terms of sensation seeking and impulsivity (Zuckerman et al., 1991). The present study takes a broad approach in exploring whether there are significant gender differences in regards to ones willingness to take risks. Using the Risk Propensity Scale (Meertens & Lion, 2008) it was hypothesized that men would be more willing to take risks when compared to women. Results did not support the hypothesis. Women were more inclined to risk taking than men. The discussion focuses on intervening factors and the meaning of this counterfactual finding.