Individual differences in risk-propensity: Associations between personality and behavioral measures of risk
Sandeep Mishra and Martin L Lalumiere
Previous research has demonstrated that various forms of risky behavior are highly associated among individuals, and such personality traits as impulsivity, sensation-seeking, and low self-control are correlated with risk-taking. However, little evidence indicates that self-report measures of personality traits associated with risky behavior significantly correlate with a behavioral preference for risk. We examined whether personality questionnaire measures of traits associated with risk (impulsivity, sensation-seeking, low self-control) were correlated with various behavioral measures of risk (future discounting, probabilistic risky choice). We show that measures of risk-propensity comprise three principal components: Future Discounting, Risky Personality, and Variance Preference. Risky Personality and Variance Preference were significantly correlated. Future Discounting was not associated with either of the other risk components. Together, the results provide some evidence suggesting that stable personality traits may represent proximate mechanisms through which a behavioral preference for risky outcomes manifests.