The Role of Gender, Cognitive Attributes and Personality on Willingness to Take Risks

Stephen Agnew, Neil Harrison


The aim of this research is to provide a further examination of the role gender plays as an influence on risk preferences. A combination of ordinary least squares (OLS) and logit regressions were carried out on data collected from 425 university students, including demographic and personality variables, along with GPA’s and CRT scores. This study found females reported lower levels of willingness to take risks than males. In an addition to the current literature, it was found that females also achieved lower scores on a cognitive reflection test (CRT). When separated by major, the gender gap was found to be the lowest for engineering and science students. None of CRT score, Maths GPA, or overall GPA were found to be correlated with risk willingness, suggesting societal conditioning as a possible cause of females being more risk averse than males. Personality variables along with gender were found to be correlated with willingness to take risk. These findings have implications for creating greater awareness of how females’ different risk preferences are generated and managed.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Stephen Agnew, Neil Harrison

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Business and Economic Research  ISSN 2162-4860

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