Narcissistic personality and risk perception among Chinese aviators: The mediating role of promotion focus

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Abstract

Optimism bias is a crucial feature of risk perception that leads to increased risk-taking behaviour, which is a particularly salient issue among pilots in aviation settings due to the high-stakes nature of flight. The current study sought to address the roles of narcissism and promotion focus on optimism bias in risk perception in aviation context. Participants were 239 male flight cadets from the Civil Aviation Flight University of China who completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory-13, the Work Regulatory Focus Scale, and an indirect measure of unrealistic optimism in risk perception, which measured risk perception for the individual and the risk assumed by other individuals performing the same task. Higher narcissism increased the likelihood of underestimating personal risks, an effect that was mediated by high promotion focus motivation, such that high narcissism led to high promotion focus motivation. The findings have important implications for improving the accuracy of risk perception in aviation risks among aviators.

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