Some people are more likely to take risks than others. Some people might even enjoy taking risks.

The RPS measures people’s general tendency to take risks. The questionnaire has only 7 items and can be filled quickly.

The RPS scale runs from 1 to 9. In a study with 151 psychology students (the 3rd sample in the study of Meertens et al., 2008), men score 4.90 and women 4.40.

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It seems that the RPS can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (References).


This is a range question with some reverse coded items.

Two important notes:

  1. Note that the paper states that questions 1-4 should be reverse coded. The authors are talking about a 9-item scale from which later 2 items were removed. The items that need to be reverse score in the final scale are 1,2,3 and 5 (as this implementation does).

  2. The item "I really dislike not knowing what is going to happen" might be somewhat difficult to read of the double negation which participants need to compare with the answer option "totally disagree". It might be easier to replace it with "I really like to know what is going to happen", although one might argue that this latter sentence has potentially a different connatation.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
l: rps
t: range
q: Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following
statements by sliding the slider.<br>
Please do not think too long before answering; usually your first inclination is also the best one.
- {min=1,max=9,left=totally disagree,right=totally agree,start=5,reverse} Safety first
- {min=1,max=9,left=totally disagree,right=totally agree,start=5,reverse} I do not take risks with my health
- {min=1,max=9,left=totally disagree,right=totally agree,start=5,reverse} I prefer to avoid risks
- {min=1,max=9,left=totally disagree,right=totally agree,start=5} I take risks regularly
- {min=1,max=9,left=totally disagree,right=totally agree,start=5,reverse} I really dislike not knowing what is going to happen
- {min=1,max=9,left=totally disagree,right=totally agree,start=5} I usually view risks as a challenge
- {min=1,max=9,left=risk avoider,right=risk taker,start=5} I see myself as a ...

l: score
t: set
- mean $rps

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your score on the Risk Propensity Scale is {$score}


  • Meertens, R. M. & Lion, R. (2008). Measuring an Individual’s Tendency to Take Risks: The Risk Propensity Scale. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38 (6), 1506-1520.