Risk taking behaviors among Turkish Univeristy students: perceived risk, perceived benefit, and impulsivity


Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2010

Thesis Language: English

Student: Özge Koçak

Supervisor: ÖZLEM BOZO ÖZEN

Abstract:

The aims of the current study are to examine the relation of risk taking behaviors (RTBs) with perceived risk, perceived benefit, and impulsivity and also to investigate the moderator role of impulsivity on the relationships between engagement in RTBs and the predictors of the engagement in RTBs (i.e. perceived risk and benefit) after controlling the effects of age, gender, and self esteem. In order to measure engagement in RTBs, perceived risk, and perceived benefit, Modified Risk Involvement and Perception Scale (Özmen, 2006) was adapted to Turkish culture in Study 1 by using Middle East Technical University (METU) students. The sample of Study 2 was composed of 234 METU students and a questionnaire set including demographic information sheet, Modified Risk Involvement and Perception Scale (M-RIPS) (Özmen, 2006), Barratt Impulsiveness Scale version 11 (BIS-11) (Güleç et al., 2008), and Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES) (Rosenberg, 1965) was administered. Multiple hierarchical regression analysis was conducted with perceived risk, perceived benefit, and impulsivity as independent variables and engagement in RTBs as the dependent variable. The findings suggested that perceived risk was negatively whereas perceived benefit and impulsivity was positively related to risk taking behaviors. Moreover, as compared to perceived risk, perceived benefit was a more powerful predictor of RTB. However, it was not found any moderator role of impulsivity on the relationships between engagement in RTBs and its predictors. The strengths and limitations, as well as implications of the findings were discussed.