The impact of implicit self-theories and loss salience on financial risk

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Montford, William J.
Leary, R. Bret
Nagel, Duane M.

Montford, William J.; Leary, R. Bret; Nagel, Duane M. 2019. The impact of implicit self-theories and loss salience on financial risk. Journal of Business Research, vol. 99:pp 1-11


The current research explores the influence of implicit self-theories on decisions involving financial risk. Building from research on self-signaling, we explore how loss salience impacts the relationship between an individual's self-theory and financial risk choice. We show that entity theorists are less risk-seeking under conditions in which a possible monetary loss is more salient (i.e. presented less ambiguously, Studies 1a and 1b). We demonstrate a reversal of this effect by showing that entity theorists are more risk-seeking when a possible loss is less salient (i.e. presented more ambiguously, Studies 2a and 2b). Study 3 introduces tolerance of ambiguity as a mediating factor in the relationship between implicit self-theory and financial risk-taking, such that entity theorists are more tolerant of ambiguity, leading them to accept more risk under conditions where loss is ambiguous. We conclude with discussion for self-theory research, transformative services research, managerial decision-making, and consumer well-being.

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