Risk Type Compass


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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 1st July 2019

Description of the Test:

The Risk Type Compass is an online psychometric assessment that aims to capture the ways in which adults behave in risk-orientated situations. Three measures are provided by the Risk Type Compass:

•Risk Type, a personality based measure of an individual’s disposition towards risk.

•Risk Attitude, an estimate of Risk Attitude across five different risk domains.

•Risk Tolerance; the Risk Tolerance Index (RTi) is an estimate of an individual’s overall Risk Tolerance.

The Risk Type Compass consists of 102 items.  The first 72 items are normative Likert scale response items and are designed to measure a test taker’s ‘Risk Type’ and the final 20 items are ipsative, and measure ‘Risk Attitude’.  Additionally, there are 10 items within the instrument that are designed to assess the validity of a test taker’s scores.  The tool takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.  A number of reports are available including a personal report for the individual test taker and a team report combining the results of multiple test takers.

Results are conveyed through a ‘compass’ model; a continuously incremented 360o spectrum of risk dispositions that, for reporting purposes, is segmented into eight Risk Types. Assignment of individuals to Risk Type is based on their scores on two underling bi-polar scales normed on a sample of ten thousand adults. This sample represents a wide range of age groups, occupational backgrounds and levels of seniority.

The Emotional:Calm (emotion) and Daring:Measured (cognition) bi-polar scales are conceptualised as orthogonal (r = 0.04). Placed at right-angles, their poles establish the four ‘compass points’ and are associated with the four ‘pure’ Risk Types (Intense, Prudent, Carefree and Composed). Four intermediate ‘complex’ Risk Types (Wary, Deliberate, Adventurous and Excitable) account for interactions between the two scales and adopt aspects from each of its ‘pure’ Type neighbours. Each Risk Type has similarities with its neighbouring Risk Type and has characteristics that are opposite to their facing Risk Type. The predicted strength of Risk Type influence is reflected in an individual’s positioning in relation to the Axis of the ‘compass’ which is effectively neutral, and the outer edge of the compass where Risk Type influence will be greatest.

‘Risk Attitude’ considers an individual’s risk preferences across five domains, these are ‘Recreational, Financial, Health and Safety, Social, and Reputational’.  ‘Risk Attitude’ is not normed, rather an individual’s profile reflects their relative preferences.

Finally an overall ‘Risk Tolerance Index’ (RTi) is also provided as an estimate of the individual’s overall Risk Tolerance, incorporating Risk Type and Risk Attitude measures.

Suggested uses include planning, research and discussion about risk awareness, risk tolerance, risk management, risk culture and decision making in selection and development contexts.

Authors: Geoff Trickey

Test Publisher: Psychological Consultancy Ltd.

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