Men take greater financial risks after exposure to masculine stereotypes

Gambling firms would do well to include more stereotypical examples of masculinity in their marketing, as researchers have concluded that men take greater financial risks after exposure to such material.

Francesco D’Acunto, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, conducted a series of experiments designed to examine if risk-taking behavior can be manipulated by priming test subjects with examples of gender identity. D’Acunto’s research showed men were far more likely than women to take greater risks after exposure to such material.

D’Acunto ran a series of tests in which subjects were asked to play a lottery-style game with varying degrees of risk and reward. Male subjects were then asked to read blocks of text containing stereotypical examples of how a masculine person behaves, while female subjects read examples of stereotypical feminine behavior, and control subjects read text describing ayurvedic principles for a healthy lifestyle.

The subjects were then presented with another round of lottery games. The men who’d been primed with examples of manly men doing manly things were found to be more risk-tolerant in their lottery choices, while the effect on women was negligible.

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