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Women and risk-taking : the overlooked dimension

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Title: Women and risk-taking : the overlooked dimension
Author: Templeman, Jane Elizabeth
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Counselling Psychology
Copyright Date: 1990
Subject Keywords Women -- Psychology -- Case studies; Risk-taking (Psychology) -- Case studies
Abstract: This research was based on the premise that psychological research on risk-taking behaviour has emphasized a one-dimensional model of instrumentality and cognitive functioning derived from male experience. The central research question "How do women experience risk-taking?" was investigated by analyzing definitions and examples of personal risk described by 44 women, and by comparing relationships between subgroups assigned by occupation and by sex-role orientation. The findings indicated that women experienced risk-taking that spanned both dimensions of affiliation (connection to others) and instrumentality (attainment of personal goals). A new definition of risk-taking was proposed that incorporated elements of uncertainty, emotional involvement, loss, and a process of change. Women in traditional occupations described a similar number of affiliative and instrumental risks, while women in non-traditional occupations emphasized instrumental risks. It was observed that the opportunity and demand for risk-taking appeared related to social context and work activity. Significant differences were also found between women in traditional and non-traditional occupations with respect to sex-role orientation (from the Bern Sex-Role Inventory), employment status, income level, and number of children. No differences were found between sub-groups designated by occupation and by sex-role orientation with respect to estimates of risk-taking tendency from a self-estimate scale and the Choice Dilemmas Questionnaire. The results supported a critique of the Choice Dilemmas Questionnaire, citing an emphasis on instrumental and hypothetical risk-taking. Participants also reported that the CDQ was not relevant to their lives. The feminist approach encouraged active participation and evaluation by the women in the study. As a result, participants reported an increased understanding of themselves and of the process of risk-taking.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/31144
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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