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Examining profiles of risk within the Swedish armed forces
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Leadership and Management (ILM).
2012 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Common characteristics among people who seek out high risk situations are tendencies towards high risk propensity and sensation seeking. Although research indicates that these tendencies can in some ways be positive for dealing with high risk situations, they also have a negative side. Thus positive relationships have been demonstrated between high sensation seeking and negative risk taking such as alcohol and drug abuse, careless driving and dangerous handling of weapons. However, the distinction between maladaptive and adaptive risk taking has been insufficiently studied both within civil and military settings. Findings from previous studies indicate that peoples inclination towards risk behavior is a rather complex phenomenon related to situation, demographic factors, traits as well as beliefs. In this paper we focus on how several of these aspects are related to each other and particularly how they are related to different dimensions of risk propensity, among a sample of Swedish military personnel. Questionnaire data were gathered from two military groups (N = 169) under contract for international missions. Preliminary results show that impulsivity and safety values constitute important explanatory factors of individual variations in risk propensity and sensation seeking. Individuals with a higher degree of risk propensity and sensation seeking tendencies seem to be characterized by a lack of deliberation as well as a skeptical attitude towards safety issues. Furthermore, different 'risk profiles' could be identified based on variations in risk propensity, impulsivity and safety values. The results highlight relevant aspects for identifying maladaptive as well as adaptive risk takers. The implications should be of interest for recruiting processes and educational communication for all professions where risks are salient and the consequences of individual mistakes are costly.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-4584OAI: diva2:717388
Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting (SRA) 2012, San Francisco, USA, 9-12 December 2012
Available from: 2014-05-15 Created: 2014-05-15 Last updated: 2014-06-02Bibliographically approved

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Börjesson, Marcus
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Department of Leadership and Management (ILM)
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