Although risk perception is a key factor predicting risk-taking behavior, there are situations where the level of perceived risk does not seem to correspond to the decision made (Mills et al. 2008). This phenomenon becomes especially evident in contexts where individuals must make decisions under temporal pressure and with strong emotional consequences (Megías et al., 2015). The aim of this research was to study if abilities in emotion regulation can explain these discrepancies. One hundred and sixty-nine participants were assessed on emotional intelligence and emotion regulation abilities using the MSCEIT instrument (Extremera et al., 2006) and emotional Go/NoGo tasks. Levels of perceived risk and risk-taking in different domains were studied by the DOSPERT questionnaire (Lozano et al., 2017). The results revealed that individuals with a better emotion regulation showed lower differences between the perceived risk and the subsequent decision. This study provides new relevant information to understand risk taking behavior and, in terms of applicability, these findings can help to improve risk prevention programs by the inclusion of emotion regulation training.
Extremera, N., Fernández-Berrocal, P., & Salovey, P. (2006). Spanish version of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). Version 2.0: reliabilities, age and gender differences. Psicothema, 18, 42-48.
Lozano, L. M., Megías, A., Catena, A., Perales, J. C., Baltruschat, S., & Cándido, A. (2017). Spanish validation of the domain-specific risk-taking (DOSPERT-30) scale. Psicothema, 29, 111-118.
Megías, A., Cándido, A., Maldonado, A., & Catena, A. (2018). Neural correlates of risk perception as a function of risk level: an approach to the study of risk through a daily life task. Neuropsychologia, 119, 464-473.
Mills, B., Reyna, V. F., & Estrada, S. (2008). Explaining contradictory relations between risk perception and risk taking. Psychological science, 19, 429-433.