Risk Perception - Self Scale


Risk Perception–Self consists of 26 one-sentence descriptions of a variety of aviation, and some non-aviation, situations. Participants are asked to rate the level of risk present in the situation, if they were to experience the situation tomorrow. The response scale for the published studies ranged from 1 (low risk) to 100 (high risk). The response scale has been modified for the internet-based version, so that the responses range from 1 (low risk) to 9 (high risk).

Number of Items: 26
Numeric rating from 1 (low risk) to 100 (high risk).


Factor 1 (General Flight Risk) = SUM(Q1, Q3, Q5, Q8, Q12, Q13, Q14, Q16, Q23, Q24)/10
Factor 2 (High Risk) = SUM(Q2, Q7, Q9, Q10, Q14, Q18, Q19, Q21, Q22, Q26)/10
Factor 3 (Altitude Risk) = SUM(Q4, Q8, Q9, Q15, Q21, Q22, Q24)/7
Factor 4 (Driving Risk) = SUM(Q11, Q17, Q20)/3
Factor 5 (Everyday Risk) = SUM(Q2, Q6, Q12, Q25)/4

NOTE: Dividing by the number of items is optional. Since it is a linear transformation it has no effect on the correlations of these variables with other criteria.

Factor Composition:

Principal components analysis of responses from approximately 600 subjects produced five interpretable factors accounting for 65% of the variance. These factors were: (a) general flight risk, which included 10 items covering both normal and high-risk flight operations; (b) high flight risk, consisting of 10 items that described high-risk flight conditions; (c) altitude risk, which consisted of 7 items in which the altitude of flight was a risk element; (d) driving risk, consisting of 3 items that described different driving situations; and (e) everyday risk, which was defined by 4 items that dealt with everyday life situations


Measures of internal consistency (coefficient alpha) for the five scales were .93, .87, .87, .79, and .63, for the first through fifth factors, respectively.

Construct Validity:

See Hunter (2006) for details. The construct validity of the scales was assessed by correlation of the factor scores with several variables. The construct validation measures included (a) three scales from the Aviation Safety Attitude Scale (ASAS; Hunter, 2002a; Hunter, 2004); (b) Situational Judgment Test (SJT; Hunter, 2003); (c) Aviation Safety Locus of Control–Internality (LOC–I; Hunter, 2002b); (d) Hazardous Event Scale (HES; Hunter, 1995); and (e) Thrill and Adventure-Seeking scale (TAS; Zuckerman, 1994). Correlations of the risk perception measures with the construct validation measures generally supported the construct validity of the new measures.

Normative Information:


(Hunter, 2006) M* SD N
General flight risk 48.02 14.79 326
High flight risk 70.38 11.58 328
Altitude risk 62.11 13.08 329
Driving risk 55.25 11.51 340
Everyday risk 35.19 14.44 338
* Means and SDs are for the original scaling: 1 to 100.      


Hunter, D. R. (2002). Risk perception and risk tolerance in aircraft pilots (Report DOT/FAA/AM–02/17). Washington, DC: Federal Aviation Administration.

Hunter, D.R. (2006). Risk perception among general aviation pilots. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 16, 135-144.

Download the scale (Word format)