Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Natalie Shook


The relations between power, exploratory behavior, and willingness to take risks were investigated. It was hypothesized that high power would be associated with increases in exploratory behavior, and that this relationship would be mediated by participants’ willingness to take risks. In Study One, one-hundred forty-one undergraduates (66% female) completed questionnaires to assess trait power and willingness to take risk, as well as a computer-based research paradigm, BeanFest, to assess exploration. Willingness to take risks correlated positively with exploration. However, the predicted relations involving power were not observed. In Study Two, power was experimentally manipulated. One-hundred thirty-three undergraduates (61% female) were randomly assigned to a high-power or low-power condition before completing measures of exploration and willingness to take risk. Results indicated no significant differences between the power conditions in exploration or risk propensity. Suggestions for directions that future research should take in order to test the proposed relations are discussed.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010

Included in

Psychology Commons