Reader AT & Salvato G (2023) Investigating the relationship between self-reported interoceptive experience and risk propensity. Cognition and Emotion. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2023.2279160
Risky behaviour may be associated with visceral experiences, such as increased heart rate. Previous studies examining the relationship between perception of such signals (interoception) and risk-taking typically used behavioural tasks with potential for monetary reward. This approach may be less informative for understanding general risk propensity. In addition, such research does not usually consider the varied ways individuals engage with interoceptive signals. However, examining these different forms of engagement may help us understand how subjective experience of interoception influences risk-taking. As such, we performed two surveys (n = 471, primarily young adults) to examine the relationship between self-reported engagement with interoceptive signals (measured using the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness) and a generalised measure of risk propensity (the General Risk Propensity Scale). Results indicated that different ways of interpreting or engaging with interoceptive signals were differentially associated with risk propensity. In particular, they provide preliminary evidence that those with the ability to ignore or not worry about visceral signals when they are uncomfortable display greater risk propensity (and these effects may possibly be gender-specific).