Effects of extraversion and pain on risk taking in male college students

Adam Muller, The College of Wooster


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pain and extraversion on risk taking. Thirty-two undergraduate males completed the Big Five Inventory Extraversion Scale, Cognitive Appraisal of Risky Events, and Balloon Analogue Risk Task. Half of participants, randomly assigned, completed the Cold Pressor Task, while the other half served as a control condition. Analyses revealed statistically significant correlations between higher extraversion and various domains of risk taking. No relationship between extraversion and pain threshold or tolerance emerged. T-tests revealed that there was a significant difference between the pain and no pain condition on cognitive appraisals of risks related to drug use, with the pain condition reporting fewer risks involved with illicit drug use. The findings of this study have implications for injury prevention and therapy with individuals suffering from pain.