Academic risk taking is a strategy where students engage in more difficult, challenging work in order to reap greater personal or community benefits, despite uncertainty, such as potential failure. A sample (N = 355) of college students from a Midwest university were measured on three dimensions of academic risk-taking as well as two motivational constructs, achievement goal orientation, and need for cognition using a hierarchical regression analysis. Students from different college majors were compared on risk-taking, and the relationships between achievement goal orientations, need for cognition, and risk-taking dimensions were tested. Results indicate achievement goal orientations and need for cognition strongly predict academic risk taking, and there are small but significant differences by major on some risk-taking dimensions. Implications include the need to foster academic risk-taking in different disciplines in higher education.
- Academic risk taking
- achievement goal orientation
- higher education
- need for cognition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology