From giving base jumping a go, to trusting gut over logic – just how many of us are happy to step outside our comfort zone and take a risk?
Our research* can reveal that half of the nation (50%) takes calculated risks, whilst one in seven (15%) always err on the side of caution. Moreover, more men (28%) than women (22%) would identify themselves as an out and out risk-taker.
Some of the more obscure risks Brits admitted to taking throughout their lifetime included surfing on a car doing over 50mph, flying to America to stay with people they only knew via interest forums, and moving away to be with someone they encountered online even though they had never met them before. 16% of us admit to having been skinny dipping, while over one in four of us (26%) have braved a blind date.
But why do so many Brits decide to take risks?
Fearing the outcome (47%) and preferring to live a simple and easy life (46%) were the two main reasons why the nation chooses not to take risks.
Commenting on the psychology behind risk-taking, renowned specialist Diana Parkinson, said:
“To risk or not is influenced by upbringing and peers. Risk-takers are more likely to be extrovert, intelligent and positive people. Moderate risk-taking increases brain power and benefits mental health by boosting dopamine which produces a natural high.
“High risk-takers are high energy individuals and may well have addictive personalities. They dream big and make their dreams a reality. Put simply, we cannot live life without taking a single risk, humans are endlessly curious and inventive, constantly exploring.”
The research also unveiled that age plays a significant role in Brits’ desire or willingness to take risks. From 45 people are much more likely to identify as a non-risk taker (22%) compared with 35-44 year-olds (13%) and 25-34 year-olds (7%). The top two reasons for taking less risk are an awareness of the consequences (39%) and greater responsibilities (20%). Interestingly, given our propensity to take less risk as we get older, one in seven over 35s (15%) believe that greater age and wisdom gives them more confidence to take a risk.
*Research from a survey of 2,009 UK adults in February 2018
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