Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What makes a Risk-Taker?

Many counter the idea of entrepreneurship saying that they're risk adverse - and other than the fact that I think "traditional" jobs, if there is such a thing anymore, can be just as risky, here's some interesting research. "Often cautious people become Daredevils in the right context" (WSJ):

You might not think of yourself as a risk-taker. Think again. Recent studies using new experimental tools are upending the old belief that a person's appetite for risk is mostly inborn and unchanging. In fact, the reasons people take crazy gambles are far more complex. People who are cautious in some contexts may embrace risk in others, depending on factors such as their familiarity with the setting and their emotions at the time. The findings are exploding old stereotypes—that women are innately more cautious than men, for example, or that teenagers are inevitably risk-seekers.

"It has been surprising to learn what a wide variety of reasons people have for risk-taking," says Elke Weber, a professor of international business at Columbia University and a leading researcher on risk. Understanding the roots of risk-taking can guide people in making better decisions, she says. Some long to advance in their careers or have new adventures but overestimate the hazards. Others race quickly and without thinking into dangerous risks.

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