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    Risk-taking is a fundamental aspect of life spanning diverse contexts. Despite many tests being readily available, the behavioral assessment of risk propensity in recreational contexts, where decisions are not necessarily motivated by monetary gains or losses, is not well represented. As the tower building task (TBT) shares features of recreational activities, we evaluated whether it could assess risk-taking in this type of scenario. In the TBT, participants use standard-size wooden blocks to build the tallest tower they can within a 10 min period. In the current study we (i) examined methodological modifications to the task to either promote or reduce risky behavior and (ii) tested possible associations between the TBT scores and those of two commonly used risk-taking evaluations: The Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) and the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS). We found that limiting the number of permitted collapses decreased the willingness to take risks, whereas challenging participants to exceed a "record" height increased risk-taking. TBT scores of one of the conditions correlated with scores of the BART and the SSS, particularly with the subscale addressing recreational activities. These findings suggest that the TBT offers a potentially useful means of evaluating risk-taking behaviors akin to those of the recreational domain.


    Santiago Gracia-Garrido, Marcos F Rosetti, Kevin Muñoz Navarrete, Robyn Hudson. The Tower Building Task: A Behavioral Tool to Evaluate Recreational Risk-Taking. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland). 2022 Sep 08;12(9)

    PMID: 36135129

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