Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Greater Risk-Taking and Status

  • Daniel KrugerEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2564-1



The greater the inequality in social status and the greater effect that social status and relative position has on reproductive outcomes, the greater risk-taking will be, especially for men. Greater uncertainty in important aspects of life will also increase risk-taking.


Patterns of risk-taking in relation to social status concerns can be understood through the framework of life history theory. Greater risk-taking is associated with greater uncertainty and inequality in reproductive success.

Status Competition and Risk Taking

Life history theory explains variation in behavioral and physiological strategies as partially contingent on conditions in the developmental environment. Individuals developing in relatively uncertain environments will develop riskier behavioral strategies to take advantage of possibly fleeting opportunities (Chisholm 1999). Humans living in chronically risky and uncertain environments are more likely to experience...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jessica Hehman
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of RedlandsRedlandsUSA