Mindsets affect risk perception and risk-taking behavior: Illusory optimism and the BART

Lucas Keller, Peter M. Gollwitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In two experiments, we investigated the downstream consequences of activating deliberative versus implemental mindsets on risk perception (Experiment 1) and risk-taking behavior (Experiment 2). We hypothesized that participants in an implemental versus deliberative mindset arrive at more optimistic judgments about their own risks of experiencing negative life events, compared to other peoples' risks. The results of Experiment 1 confirm this hypothesis and reveal perceived controllability as an important moderator. Experiment 2 further augments these findings by demonstrating that participants in a deliberative mindset show less risk-taking behavior than participants in an implemental mindset using a behavioral risk task. Implications for research on mindset theory of action phases and mindset-dependent effects on risk perception and risk-taking behavior are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-147
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • BART
  • Illusory optimism
  • Mindsets
  • Risk perception
  • Risk-taking behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mindsets affect risk perception and risk-taking behavior: Illusory optimism and the BART'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this