How do people make decisions when they want to reach a certain goal? And what is the relationship between aspirations and risk taking behavior?
The phenomenon of decision-making under uncertainty has interested scholars for more than two centuries. In the current publication, Roland Paulauskas presents the analysis of motivational and behavioral economic theories of the level of aspirations and risk taking behavior. The author proposes a dynamic/multiple reference point decision-making model that distinguishes three qualitative phases of the choosing process in the level of aspirational situations. Contrary to some of the behavioral economic theories, he suggests that a decision-making strategy in most cases is determined by the leverage of rationality and emotionality during the appraisal phase of the decision-making process. Predominance of cognitive dispositions determines whether the chooser will utilize heuristic or risk aversive strategies, whereas prevalence of emotional reactions tends to sway the decision maker towards inconsistent or risk seeking approaches. To support his hypothesis, Paulauskas developed and utilized a computerized test entitled the Standardized Assessment of the Level of Aspirations (a CD with the test is included in the publication). The author concludes that most of the people are heuristic decision makers, usually averse of risk seeking, and take moderate and calculated risks in the level of aspirational situations.
The book and the utility of the Standardized Assessment of the Level of Aspirations will find a wide range of applications among researchers and practitioners in the fields of cognitive, personality, forensic, occupational, and sports psychology. The Standardized Assessment of the Level of Aspirations will also serve as an effective screening tool in new employee hiring process. (Nova)