Measuring Generalized Risk Orientation with a Single Survey Item
19 Pages Posted: 4 May 2010 Last revised: 28 May 2010
Date Written: May 3, 2010
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
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