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Strong Interest Inventory®: What's the Risk Taking/Adventure Scale?

This scale was first added to the Strong in 1968, so it's been around for quite a while. It used to be part of the Realistic Basic Interest Scale, but has now been established as a Personal Style Scale. It measures things such as interest in physically risky activities such as racing, and other, more general, adventures such as travel.

This is a scale where there's a gender difference. Men score significantly higher on this scale than women.

Those with high scores tend to take risks, act on the spur of the moment, be spontaneous, and can act recklessly. They also tend to be independent, self-reliant, to be outgoing, enjoy being the center of attention, and doing things just for the fun of it. Those who score towards the opposite pole generally avoid danger and risks and try to maximize their personal safety.

People tend to score more towards the Play it Safe pole as they get older. For those over 30 who score towards the opposite pole, it might indicate an enduring attraction towards risky activities, rather than youthful exuberance.

Risk taking doesn't always mean physical risk. Some people are financial risk takers, for example. People who score highly on this scale tend to enjoy working on commission. It could also mean enjoying travel, or social risks, or just trying new things without a guarantee of success. Others want great independence and autonomy in their work and personal lives.

Those who tend towards the Play it Safe pole need careful planning and many guarantees before trying something new. Otherwise, they could experience extreme discomfort. Such people are often most comfortable taking small steps towards a goal, rather than jumping in with both feet. For example, if such a person were thinking about going back to college, rather than quitting his or her job and enrolling in a program, he or she could continue to work and take one or two evening classes to see how things go. If all goes well, the person could take more classes or try something else.

Here are some jobs people who score towards the Risk Taking pole of the scale: Athletic Trainer, Auto Mechanic, Carpenter, Electrician, Emergency Medical Technician, and Police Officer. Those who score towards the Play it Safe end of the scale prefer jobs such as: Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienist, Librarian, Mathematician, Nurse, and Speech Pathologist.

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