Aging risk takers still take risks

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People who take risks in their youth are more likely to continue taking risks when they’re older, according to an analysis of more than 44,000 German citizens published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. These findings, said Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and a co-author of the paper, suggest that risk taking could be a personality trait that remains stable throughout adulthood. Samanez-Larkin and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany and the University of Basel in Switzerland studied subjects ages 18 to 85 who participated for 10 years in a cross-national study. People’s willingness to take risks, the study found, depends on both their age and the risky activity. The inclination to take financial risks remains steady until retirement age, while the willingness to trust people doesn’t change with age.


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