Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology



First Advisor

Slifkin, Andrew

Subject Headings

Physiological Psychology, Psychological Tests, Psychology


Past research has led to the conclusion, through studies of the speed-accuracy trade-off, that there is a natural covariance between speed and accuracy within individuals on movement tasks (Adam, 1992). In this study, we investigated the relationship between the speed-accuracy continuum and risk-taking personality characteristics. In order to investigate the hypotheses, the study used a Fitts’ cyclical aiming task in which participants moved a mouse between two targets that were at various widths and amplitudes. The various widths and amplitudes included 15 unique combinations of movement measurements, which were compared to two measures of risk-taking. These were the Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz (IRTQ), which is a questionnaire that measures an individual’s risk-tolerance with regard to financial investment, and the Personality Inventory of the DSM-5 (PID-5), which is an overarching method of testing personality characteristics, including risk-taking. We used a linear regression between risk-taking and measures of motor performance (movement time, accuracy, and variability) to assess if there is a relationship between the two. With this analysis, we were interested if variability along one dimension predicted the variability along the other dimension. The first prediction, that as movement time (MT) increases risk taking should decline, did not yield significant results. The second prediction, that as accuracy increases, with regard to target hits and misses, risk taking should decline was also found not to be significant. Last, the prediction that variability increases, with regard to the standard deviation of movement amplitude, as risk taking increases was found not to be significant also. These predictions were not significant and this study failed to provide a link between an individual’s personality and their movement characteristics