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The article I chose was “Cognitive Skills, Gender and Risk Preferences.”


The study measured the willingness of males and females to accept risk.  They started at age 18 with baseline information then questioned the same people at age 20 with questions that had a definitive grading criteria.


While there had been three other studies conducted on a similar topic, the researchers opted to focus on a specific age group and their individual risk preferences.  As this was done over a two year period, I think this allowed them to keep their objectivity rather than focus on data that could be immediately provided had they gotten the baseline information from them at 18 and then posed the second phase the same day or even within the near future of the baseline information.  Waiting two years provided them with a context of how life experiences can change someone’s willingness to accept risk.

Reducing Uncertainty:

The researchers reduced uncertainty by focusing on a specific age group, using people from the same nationality, and excluded people in the second phase that were institutionalized, sick, overseas or in the military as this could have a dramatic impact on their willingness to accept risk than if they had never experienced those aspects in their lives.


This study has not been duplicated.  However, the researchers take great care to explain the grading criteria, controls, and other necessary information to allow it to be duplicated.

Using Standardized Procedures:

They used standardized procedures allowing for an accurate assessment of the information the participants provided.  For each part the study, they assigned a numerical value to each response a participant could give when only given the option to choose one out of multiple choices and for rating themselves on a scale of 1 to 11.

Selected A Problem Area:

The researchers were attempting to identify if IQ accurately measured cognitive ability in college age individuals as previous studies had claimed.

Conceptualized Variables:

The researchers were attempting to measure acceptability of risk itself rather than the impact of their IQ to a given choice or situation.  However, they did not state they used an accepted method to establish the computation of their data.

Operationalized Variables:

One variable they were concerned about was the wealth of the participants as one of the research questions involved risking large amounts of money.  They opted to exclude those with above and below average wealth.  This resulted in 520 cases being dropped from the analysis.  However, this was accomplished using a method previously established in other studies.

Identified Constants And Labeled Variables:

They identified and labeled the variables.  I was unable to ascertain the constants in their study other than the questionnaires used.

Formulated A Research Hypothesis:

Their research hypothesis was that risk aversion may contribute to observed disparities in economic outcomes of peoples’ lives.

Developed A Sample Plan:

The sampling plan seemed to be well thought out as they were able to accurately identify and exclude data that could provide big variances in the results.

Selected A Data Collection Method:

They opted to use a multitude of collection methods.  However, I think this may result in a loss of participants in the study.  Rather than choose one method to standardize the data collection, they used letters, incentive payments, repeated callbacks, and computer-assisted telephone interviews.  However, only 36.1% responded to the survey.

Analyzed The Data:

The author did a great job of analyzing the data provided.  They used a constant grading criteria and ensured to account for and exclude data with variables that could skew the data.  They concluded that IQ did not impact risk preference as stated by previous studies.  The analysis concluded that gender was the major determining factor in risk preference.



Booth, A. L., & Katic, P. (2013). Cognitive Skills, Gender and Risk Preferences Cognitive Skills, Gender and Risk Preferences. Economic Record, 89(284), 19-30. doi:10.1111/1475-4932.12014

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