Risk taking behavior in civilian and military settings often results in unnecessary loss of life and equipment. The present research investigates the contribution of three cognitive styles (Type A., Cognitive Complexity, and GIAL) to risky behavior under varying task load conditions. The research is further concerned with uncovering possible relationships between these cognitive styles and physiological arousal (cardiovascular response) as interactive sources of risky actions. A variety of diverse and combined effects of styles on the propensity to take risks was obtained. These relationships were not generally reflected in arousal levels. In addition, the present findings support the conclusions of Streufert et al. (1983) who suggested that risk taking is primarily an effect of cognitive error. In the absence of an arousal based “thrill” finding, specific “educational” programs, based on a person's stylistic characteristics, may be possible to reduce the propensity for risky actions.