People who tend to take risks

Russian and international researchers tracked the risk-taking tendencies of residents of 11 countries when making quick and independent decisions.

The scientists found that residents of India and Chile had the lowest levels of adventurousness, while the Chinese and Japanese were more willing to take risks.

This was reported by the press service of the Russian National Research University Higher School of Economics on Tuesday, June 18th.

More than 500 people from countries including Russia, France, Argentina, India and China took part in the two-part special study. Participants first chose between two options related to gaining reward or risk. “We repeated the options in each round and grouped different groups together to create a context for determining whether these options were more or less profitable,” reads the report published by the news agency.

Thus, a group of Russian and international psychologists and neuroscientists, led by Professor Stefano Palminteri of the Institute of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience in Paris, sought to understand how various social, cultural and lifestyle factors affect decision-making and risk assessment. The scholars were interested in how the rationality of an individual’s behavior depends on their country of origin, their position in society, their religion, their political system and other factors.

To get this information, the researchers asked volunteers to participate in a lottery in which they had to choose one of two abstract geometric shapes displayed on a computer screen. Each of these shapes was associated with a probability of winning a certain amount of cash prize, and the volunteers were gradually able to determine the probabilities through trial and error. After training, the scientists swapped pairs of shapes, sometimes providing background or clarifying some of the lottery rules.

Subsequent observations of the volunteers’ behavior showed that they all based similar considerations on the decision to take risks. This is evidenced by the fact that representatives of all ethnicities and nations often made mistakes in certain situations and with incomplete information. At the same time, scientists found that the tendency to take risks differs significantly between representatives of different nationalities.

In particular, Russians, Argentinians and Moroccans were characterized by a moderate risk orientation, while residents of India, Chile and the United States were less inclined to make adventurous decisions. In contrast, volunteers from China, Japan and Israel took the most risks, especially in situations with a high level of reward and risk. The scientists emphasized that these distinctive characteristics must be taken into account when conducting opinion polls and advertising campaigns.

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