The Risk-Taking Propensity Scale (R-TPS) is a self-report questionnaire based on the Sensation-seeking Scales of the International Personality Item Pool and is designed to measure sensation-seeking along three axes namely Dangerous Thrill-seeking, Impulsive Thrill-seeking, and Calculated Thrill-seeking. This instrument proposes that the propensity to take risks is highly correlated to high sensation-seeking and low self-regulatory behaviour.
While this report will provide a detailed overview of the principal sensation-seeking behaviours namely Dangerous Thrill-seeking, Impulsive Thrill-seeking, and Calculated Thrill-seeking underlying risk-taking propensity, it is important to appreciate that it is not a diagnostic tool. Like all self-reporting clinical tools, the R-TPS report must be viewed in conjunction with a range of other collateral information and, most importantly, not be used as a substitute for a comprehensive clinical interview. The R-TPS report was developed by Dr Gary C. Townsend of Skillworx Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Why measure sensation-seeking
The principal value of the Risk-taking Propensity Scale (R-TPS) in a clinical setting is to establish whether a person presents with counterproductive or antisocial risk taking behaviour. Research has established that risk-taking is associated with the sensation-seeking personality trait while the relationship with impulsivity is relatively more complex. There is however, a direct correlation between risk taking and high levels of Extraversion and Originality (Openness to experience) and low levels of Conscientiousness, Sociability (agreeableness), and Constancy (neuroticism and emotional regulation)
associated with the 5-factor model of personality as measured by the Townsend Personality Questionnaire (TPQ®). In addition, administering an emotional
intelligence assessment like the Townsend Emotional Intelligence Inventory (TEQ-i®) as part of the battery will help cover the key emotional guards of Self-awareness, Self-regulation, and Self-motivation required for any person to function at low risk levels. Understanding the propensity of an individual to take risk can minimise both personal and societal risky behaviour. In addition, understanding someone’s propensity to take risks can help mitigate bad hiring decisions associated with high safety-critical roles like rail-workers, policeman, pilots, security personnel, etc.
The R-TPS is a set of three self-report scales designed to measure the sensation-seeking behaviours underlying risk-taking propensity. The R-TPS comprises items measuring the following:
DANGEROUS THRILL-SEEKING: propensity to participate and facilitate physically dangerous activities
IMPULSIVE THRILL-SEEKING: propensity to reflexively and impulsively participate in and facilitate high-risk activities
CALCULATED THRILL-SEEKING: propensity to thoughtfully and deliberately participate in and facilitate high-risk activities
Benefits for the organisation
Research suggests that the two key inputs to risk-taking are risk perception and risk-taking propensity, with risk-taking propensity conceptualised as a confluence of dispositional tendencies (internal characteristics that reside within the individual), cognitive inputs and past experience. For this reason, it is beneficial to use a combination of emotional intelligence (TEQ-i®) to measure risk perception and personality (TPQ®) and sensation-seeking (R-TPS) assessment to measure risk-taking propensity. Essentially, screening on these two behavioural fronts will provide strong behavioural indicators as to whether the potential candidate is a high risk in terms of risk-taking behaviour as well as whether they lack the key emotional guards of self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-motivation required in the execution of their daily responsibilities.
R-TPS® Profile Report
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