We frequently make important financial decisions that impact our welfare. There are a number of articles examining what influences our decision-making process (Lynch, 2011). One factor that influences our decisions is whether there is a risk associated with the choice. We all make different choices depending on the degree of risk associated and how we perceive those risks, which can be determined based on a specific utility function unique to the individual (Abdellaoui et al., 2011). However, human behaviors are not completely random, and some behavior can be predicted since humans possess a certain amount of mental programs that are stable in time that lead us to the same behavior under similar circumstances (Hofstede, 1984). At the collective level, such mental programs are the culture. In fact, Petersen, Kushwaha and Kumar (2015) found that national culture directly affects consumer financial decision making. However, since they have examined financial decision making in terms of savings rates, use of credit and spending patterns, we cannot associate the direct impact on risk preference. Hence, this study is investigating the effect of national culture, including personal experiences one has had since childhood, on individuals’ risk preferences.


Mellizo, Philip

Second Advisor

Wilhelms, Evan


Economics; Psychology


Behavioral Economics | Multicultural Psychology


National Culture, Risk Preference, Financial Decision Making

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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