Measuring Generalized Risk Orientation with a Single Survey Item

19 Pages Posted: 4 May 2010 Last revised: 28 May 2010

See all articles by Cherie D Maestas

Cherie D Maestas

University of North Carolina Charlotte

William M. Pollock

Florida State University

Date Written: May 3, 2010

Abstract

Conceptually, risk-orientation is an individual’s general affective response to facing risky or uncertain situations, independent of context or framing. This concept has broad applicability within the context political science because it directly affects judgments of economic and political risks, as well as moderates the influence of perceived risks on opinions about issues and candidates. However, measures of risk orientation are rarely included in political science survey instruments. We argue that generalized risk orientation can be adequately measured with a single survey question. Although multiple item indices are more reliable, space constraints often limit scholars from using long batteries of items. We offer validity and reliability analysis of one single-item measure that performs well in several different settings.

Keywords: risk attitudes, risk orientation, suvey research, risk aversion, public opinion, personality traits, public policy opinions

Suggested Citation

Maestas, Cherie D and Pollock, William M., Measuring Generalized Risk Orientation with a Single Survey Item (May 3, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1599867 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1599867

Cherie D Maestas (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina Charlotte ( email )

Dept. of Political Science & Public Administration
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223
United States

William M. Pollock

Florida State University ( email )

Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States

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