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Measuring an Individual's Tendency to Take Risks: The Risk Propensity Scale1

Authors

  • Ree M. Meertens,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Health Education and Promotion
      Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM)
      and
      Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI)
      Maastricht University
      Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • René Lion

    1. Department of Health Education and Promotion
      Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM)
      Maastricht University
      Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • 1

    The authors thank Marijn de Bruin, Kirsten Verkooijen, and particularly Rob Ruiter for their assistance in gathering the data.

Ree M. Meertens, Department of Health Promotion and Education, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. E-mail: r.meertens@gvo.unimaas.nl

Abstract

A new, short, and easily administered Risk Propensity Scale (RPS) is introduced that measures general risk-taking tendencies. This paper investigates the reliability and discriminant validity of the RPS. The RPS provided scores that yielded a good internal reliability coefficient and adequate test–retest reliability, and the scores correlated moderately to well with those of the Everyday Risk Inventory and the short Sensation-Seeking Scale. The correlation with the scores from other scales (Need for Cognition scale, Need for Structure scale, and 2 self-esteem scales) was low to moderate, indicating good discriminant validity. The findings are discussed in relation to risk-perception research using gambling experiments and in relation to their usefulness for risky decision-making research.

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