Not All Risks Are Equal: The Risk Taking Inventory for High-Risk Sports

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Tim WoodmanBangor University

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Matt BarlowBangor University

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Comille BanduraBangor University

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Miles HillBangor University

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Dominika KupciwBangor University

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Alexandra MacGregorBangor University

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Although high-risk sport participants are typically considered a homogenous risk-taking population, attitudes to risk within the high-risk domain can vary considerably. As no validated measure allows researchers to assess risk taking within this domain, we validated the Risk Taking Inventory (RTI) for high-risk sport across four studies. The RTI comprises seven items across two factors: deliberate risk taking and precautionary behaviors. In Study 1 (n = 341), the inventory was refined and tested via a confirmatory factor analysis used in an exploratory fashion. The subsequent three studies confirmed the RTI’s good model–data fit via three further separate confirmatory factor analyses. In Study 2 (n = 518) and in Study 3 (n = 290), concurrent validity was also confirmed via associations with other related traits (sensation seeking, behavioral activation, behavioral inhibition, impulsivity, self-esteem, extraversion, and conscientiousness). In Study 4 (n = 365), predictive validity was confirmed via associations with mean accidents and mean close calls in the high-risk domain. Finally, in Study 4, the self-report version of the inventory was significantly associated with an informant version of the inventory. The measure will allow researchers and practitioners to investigate risk taking as a variable that is conceptually distinct from participation in a high-risk sport.

Tim Woodman, Matt Barlow, Comille Bandura, Miles Hill, Dominika Kupciw, and Alexandra MacGregor are with the Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK.

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