Evaluation of a behavioral measure of risk taking: the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART)

J Exp Psychol Appl. 2002 Jun;8(2):75-84. doi: 10.1037//1076-898x.8.2.75.


The present study (N = 86) sought to evaluate a laboratory-based behavioral measure of risk taking (the Balloon Analogue Risk Task; BART) and to test associations between this measure and self-report measures of risk-related constructs as well as self-reported real-world risk behaviors. The BART evidenced sound experimental properties, and riskiness on the BART was correlated with scores on measures of sensation seeking, impulsivity, and deficiencies in behavioral constraint. Also, riskiness on the BART was correlated with the self-reported occurrence of addictive, health, and safety risk behaviors, with the task accounting for variance in these behaviors beyond that accounted for by demographics and self-report measures of risk-related constructs. These results indicate that the BART may be a useful tool in the assessment of risk taking.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arousal
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Risk-Taking*