Brave on the Waves: With Guests Bianca Valenti & Katherine Coffman

April 23, 2023
How can you strike the right balance between risk tolerance and risk aversion, and why do women and men so often view risk differently?
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After you listen

  • If you'd like to learn more about risk aversion and underconfidence in financial contexts, there's a Financial Decoder episode titled "How Can You Be a More Confident Investor?" It explores steps that women—and men—can take to feel more empowered to take charge of their financial well-being.
  • If you'd like to learn more about risk aversion and underconfidence in financial contexts, there's a Financial Decoder episode titled "How Can You Be a More Confident Investor?" It explores steps that women—and men—can take to feel more empowered to take charge of their financial well-being.
Financial Decoder episode titled "How Can You Be a More Confident Investor?" It explores steps that women—and men—can take to feel more empowered to take charge of their financial well-being. " role="dialog" aria-label="
  • If you'd like to learn more about risk aversion and underconfidence in financial contexts, there's a Financial Decoder episode titled "How Can You Be a More Confident Investor?" It explores steps that women—and men—can take to feel more empowered to take charge of their financial well-being.
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  • If you'd like to learn more about risk aversion and underconfidence in financial contexts, there's a Financial Decoder episode titled "How Can You Be a More Confident Investor?" It explores steps that women—and men—can take to feel more empowered to take charge of their financial well-being.

We all make decisions involving risk. Decisions like trying out for your school's chess team, speaking up when you don’t agree with your boss, or going down a double-black-diamond run at the end of a long day of skiing. So how do we determine which risks are worth taking and which ones are too … risky?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at gender differences around confidence and uncertainty, and how we can all better calibrate our bravado.

Surfing waves as tall as apartment buildings takes a lot of strength and skill and preparation. It also involves risk—mistakes can lead to broken bones, concussions, or worse. But as Bianca Valenti explains, those risks can be managed, and there are big rewards in those big waves.

Bianca Valenti is a world-champion surfer, speaker, activist, and entrepreneur. Watch her award-winning ride for the Mavericks Awards.

Next, Katy speaks with Katherine Coffman about research that explores how gender stereotypes shape beliefs about taking risks.

You can read more in the working paper she co-authored called "A (Dynamic) Investigation of Stereotypes, Belief-Updating, and Behavior."

Katherine Coffman is the Piramal Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiations, Organizations & Markets unit at the Harvard Business School.

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