ERIC Number: EJ731747
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Determinants of Children's Risk-Taking in Different Social-Situational Contexts: The Role of Cognitions and Emotions in Predicting Children's Decisions
Morrongiello, Barbara A.; Matheis, Shawn
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, v25 n3 p303-326 May-Jun 2004
This study examined the contribution of cognitive and emotion-based factors in predicting school-age children's risk-taking decisions when the social-situational context did, and did not, pressure for risk-taking. Using drawings of play situations that depicted three possible paths of travel that varied in injury risk and pitted convenience (length of path) against level of risk (e.g., shortest path was most risky), we explored children's appraisals of danger and injury severity (i.e., cognitive measures) and anticipated fear and excitement (i.e., emotion measures) for each possible path of travel. Children also indicated which path they would take and gave a justification for this decision. Subsequently, they were informed of information that threatened loss of a desired goal unless one of the more convenient (faster), risky paths was selected. Children then repeated their path selections and the cognitive and emotion appraisals. When the situation pressured for greater risk-taking to attain a desired goal, children endorsed greater risk-taking the majority of the time, with convenience being the most frequently cited reason for this decision. Regression analyses indicated that both cognitive and emotion-based measures contributed to predict risk-taking decisions in both social-situational contexts. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Descriptors: Injuries, Goal Orientation, Risk, Context Effect, Cognitive Processes, Psychological Patterns, Prediction, Cognitive Measurement, Regression (Statistics), Decision Making, Fear, Play, Travel
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A