A number of factors can influence an individual’s propensity to take risks. In particular, developmental differences in reward sensitivity (attraction to money, food, and other rewards), self-control, and mental representation (the mental picture or interpretation) of choices have each been shown to explain greater susceptibility to risk-taking. Developmental differences refer to how people change with age from infancy to old age. This entry will explain how understanding each of these factors (and developmental trends in each of them) can help to explain changes in risk-taking that occur across the life span. This entry first defines key terms relating to risk-taking and then goes on to describe developmental trends in risk-taking and how these trends are explained by the leading psychological theories of risk-taking.

Defining Risk ...

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