Personal relative deprivation and risk An examination of individual differences in personality, attitudes, and behavioral outcomes


Substantial epidemiological evidence has linked societal-level inequality and outcomes associated with risk-taking (e.g., teen pregnancy, crime, violence). However, little research has examined whether downstream psychological consequences of inequality are similarly associated with risk-related outcomes. We examined whether subjective feelings of personal relative deprivation—a key affective consequence of competitive disadvantage and victimization by inequality—were associated with risk-related individual differences in a diverse community sample (n=328). Personal relative deprivation was associated with personality traits associated with risk (high impulsivity, low self-control, and facets of sensation-seeking), risk-related attitudes (in ethical, gambling, and health/safety domains), and behavioral outcomes (gambling and problem gambling, future discounting, antisocial conduct, and criminal outcomes), but not with two laboratory behavioral risk tasks. Together, the results indicate that subjective feelings of relative deprivation predict individual differences in key personality traits, attitudes, and behaviors associated with risk.

Personality and Individual Differences, 90
Dallas Novakowski, Ph.D.
Dallas Novakowski, Ph.D.

I am a behavioral scientist interested in leveraging open science, consumer research, and evolutionary psychology to help people and organizations make better decisions.