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THE BIG RISK SURVEY BY MAÏTÉ VALCK, JO-ANNE ALDEWEI RELDT AN D FLEUR VANSLEMBROUCK

Business English 2B 2 MA 05 2013-2014


TABEL OF CONTENTS 1.

Executive summary ............................................................................................... 2

2.

Questions ................................................................................................................ 3

3.

Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 14

4.

Appendix .............................................................................................................. 14

5.

Resources .............................................................................................................. 15

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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Did you ever take a risk, or do you just think it was a risk? When can you talk about taking a risk? What about the youth? Are the journalists right? Do they take more risks than ever? These questions keep us, three marketing students, busy. We wrote this report in order to find out how far students go to take risks. Our report is based on 14 questions, each containing a certain risk factor. The target audiences of our report are students. Therefore we interrogated every classmate. We found out that most of the respondents are no big risk takers. The students are not afraid to take little risks but when it comes to taking a big risk we can see that the majority calls of. We found out that a lot of classmates think that rules are meant to be broken, but when we asked them if they ever took hard drugs, gambled or had sex without protection in life, more than half of the class answered no! Do you want to find out more of those mind-blowing facts? Don’t hesitate and start reading our exciting report!

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2. QUESTIONS 1. WHAT IS YOUR GENDER? This is a general question so we can see how many male or female persons have filled in our survey. The women are in the majority.

2. AT AN AMUSEMENT PARK, WOULD YOU AUTOMATICALLY GO TOWARDS THE HIGHEST, FASTEST AND MOST INTENSE RIDE? We selected this question for our big risk survey because at an amusement park you can easily separate the risky people from the normal or even reserved people. If you go to the highest, fastest and most intense rides then you’ll find people who like to take a risk and look for adventure. Besides that, we can say that this is an easy question to answer as everyone immediately knows what their habit is in an amusement park. There are three possible answers; yes, sometimes and no. People who answer positively to this question are the “risk takers”. Those people answered yes or sometimes. But the people who answered sometimes are those who hesitate. Those people are less ambitious to take risks. First they want to think about the possible consequences. People who answered no are those who don’t take risks. Going on a high, fast and intense ride is risky because it’s something you do for fun and not because you have to. People who don’t want to go for fun are people who think that taking the risk isn’t their time (and life) worthy.

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This result is very interesting. We find out that 80% of our class would go immediately on the highest, fastest and intense ride at an amusement park. But the half of 80% will hesitate before going immediately. The remaining 20% won’t go on a risky ride.

3. WOULD YOU EVER GO TO A COUNTRY AS A VOLUNTEER TO HELP FUGITIVES OR PEOPLE AT RISK? This question is helpful for our big risk survey because volunteers who want to help fugitives or people at risk are people that take risks for other people in trouble. This is even a step higher than the previous question. Volunteers are willing to do everything they can for the fugitives even when they have to take big risks. You can answer yes or no. People who answer positively are the “risk takers”. Risk takers are also very adventurous. Going to countries where fugitives or people at risk are in trouble is most of the time a big trip. You like going on an adventure and taking risks. The people who answer no aren’t willing to take a risk for other people in trouble.

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Almost ½ of our class wants to take a big risk and make an adventurous trip to help people at risk or fugitives. The other 53.3% isn’t ready to take that big step and wouldn’t go to a country as a volunteer to help fugitives or people at risk. That means that there are many “risk takers” in our class group.

4. WHEN TRAVELING, DO YOU PLAN ON BEFOREHAND OR DO YOU EXPLORE WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR DESTINATION? This question is a part of our big risk survey because we can easily separate the risk takers and the normal people based on their answers. Going on a trip isn’t a risk if you have planned every detail. You know where you will stay, eat, sleep and how you will travel. This is the safest way to travel. People who don’t like to take risks, will go prepared on a trip. On the other hand we have the people who go on a plane without any plans. They go to a country, make friends, find places to stay, eat and sleep and go on every possible adventure they can. Those people like taking risks. This question can be answered in three different ways. The first possibility is: Everything is planned. The second possibility is: Some things are planned (ex. hotels, excursions) and the third possible answer is: Nothing is planned.

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Most students plan some things before going on a trip. This is normal and not risky at all. It’s remarkable that only 13.3% will take a big risk and plan nothing. Real adventurous people! 5. HAVE YOU EVER TAKEN ANY KIND OF SOFT OR HARD DRUGS? We chose this question because people who tend to take drugs like risks. They like to lose control and have faith in the outcome. Control freaks will never be able to take this kind of risks. Nearly 40 percent of our group took some kind of soft drugs. Bear in mind that in our society alcohol doesn’t have the status of being a drug. We did ask what kind of drugs mostly was taken .The outcome was marihuana. This is pretty remarkable because weed gives you a feeling of happiness just like the feeling you can get from adrenaline when taking high speed risks like cliff jumping, skydiving, waterboarding. That’s why you can conclude that people who take soft drugs tend to take risks in real life too.

If yes, what kind of drugs? - Weed (x2) - Cannabis (x2)

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6. HAVE YOU EVER GAMBLED IN LIFE? We chose this question because it does a nice job at giving us a perception of the risk restrained attitude of our group. People who gamble are risk takers. They take the risk of losing money. But besides that they can also become an addict. Two risks at once! Gambling can be very mysterious and dangerous, so normal people who don’t like to take risks will stay away from this environment. As a logical result people can answer yes or no. People who answered yes can say how much they spend per year (but they don’t have to). Later we can separate the real gamblers from the students who gamble while drinking a beer. If yes, how much money did you spend per year on gambling? -50 euro 60 percent have been gambling! That’s an astonishing number considering the prohibition of entering a casino in Belgium at an age under 21! This means that our group looks for other possibilities to roll the dice. They gamble with friends by playing cards or placing bets. This reflects the risk full attitude of this young group of students. The contrast with the 40 percentage that doesn’t gamble emphasizes the big difference between risk takers and control freaks. Only 1 person says that he or she spent 50 euro per year on gambling. We can conclude that this is a student who does this for fun and doesn’t take big risks.

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7. DID YOU EVER HAD SEX WITHOUT PROTECTION?

38,46 percent of the participants had sex without using any kind of protection, 61,54 % did use protection. This means that the majority of the surveyed are pro safe sex and do not want to take the risk to have unprotected sex which could result in sexual diseases, pregnancy, etc. This question was asked to know if young people would still take the risk to have unprotected sex, even when society tells them not to.

8. ARE YOU AFRAID TO TRAVEL BY PLANE? More than half of the class answered “no” to this question, which is logic as travelling by plane is the safest way to get to your destination. The other half of the group answered “yes” or “sometimes”. This means that still a lot of people have trouble believing that travelling by plane is safe. This can be explained by several reasons. First of all: flying is something unnatural for a human being. Secondly, when an airplane crashes it is always big news and many people die. This in contrast with thousands of car accidents every day where more people die but which is not shown on the news.

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9. DID YOU EVER HAVE SEX IN A PUBLIC PLACE?

By asking this question we wanted to know if people would take the risk of having sex in a public place, which could lead an unpleasant situation when you get caught. Almost 70 percent of the surveyed answered “no�, only 31 percent of the surveyed took this risk. The reasons for these results can be explained by the age of the surveyed and the kind of relationships they already have experienced in their young life. There is a great possibility that the majority of the respondents have not had sex.

10. DID YOU EVER PARKED YOUR CAR WHERE YOU WERE NOT ALLOWED TO?

When you park your car where you are not allowed too you know you have a big risk that you will be fined or that your car will be towed away. Knowing all this information on beforehand made this a very interesting question. 53,85 percent once parked his/her care where he/she was not allowed to. The minority of the respondents never took this risk.

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11. DO YOU REGULARLY TRY NEW TYPES OF FOOD? FOR EXAMPLE: YOU ARE AT THE RESTAURANT AND YOU SEE SOMETHING UNKNOWN, NEW ON THE MENUS CARD. WILL YOU TRY IT OR DO YOU PREFER THE SAME DISH AS USUAL?

Research has shown that people like rules, guidelines and certain habitats because this leads to certainty and a comfortable way of living. Especially Belgians are people who do not like taking risks and want to be certain in life. Trying out new food when going to a restaurant is for 61 percent of the surveyed not a big risk. 39 per cent prefers dishes they know. They will never be surprised but are certain that they will like the dish they are getting served. You can compare it with the Belgian Tv show “F.C de kampioenen”. A psychologist once said that the reason for the success of this tv show is because it can be compared with going to a snackbar; you know what you will get and you know it will be tasteful, nothing more and nothing less.

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12. DO YOU SMOKE?

Knowing that smoking can kill you and that it can lead to severe diseases makes smokers a very “risk-taking� audience. They know what the consequences are and still they continue smoking. It would be too abstract to see it only like this. Young people often start smoking because it is cool or they are just very curious. At that age you are not really considering the consequences for your body, because you are young and perfectly healthy (diseases or dying is for old people). After this try out many people get addicted and they look forward to smoke their next cigarette. Smoking is an addiction that is very hard for some people to resist. That is why a smoker is not always a risk-taking person but more a weak person who has an addiction and feels like he needs the cigarette to go through his/her day. Some experts even conclude that a smoker is a very routine minded person, for example they smoke a cigarette before they go to work, smoke a cigarette after class, etc. Smokers can be seen as risker-takers as they know that it can lead to severe diseases but they can also be seen as weak persons with an addiction.

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13. DID YOU EVER GO BELOW ZERO ON YOUR BANK ACCOUNT WITHOUT BEING SURE YOU WERE ABLE TO REFUND IT?

Going below zero on your bank account is a big risk if you do not know that you will be able to refund it. Only 15 percent of the respondents answered “yes” to this question, meaning that they once took this risk. This could be related to an impulsive behavior. People want to buy a computer, clothes, or other stuff they can’t afford and they hope that their salary will be paid within several days. If this is not the occasion or other financial situations occur they will be in very deep and severe problems, that’s why it is a big risk to go below zero on your bank account.

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14. DO YOU AGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: "RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN."

62 percent believes that rules are not meant to be broken and 38 percent is convinced that rules should often be broken. The answer to this statement can be a reflection of the personality of the respondent. Breaking rules can be related to people who are adventurous and daring. People who follow the rules without exceptions are society-minded persons.

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3. CONCLUSION The outcome of our survey is clear. The students questioned are not very brave. We asked them 14 questions, each with a risk item in it. The students answered likewise. More than ½ of the group answered negative when they were asked if they would take a risk. Little risks like going on an intense ride in an amusement park or parking your car wrong are actions they would do. We generalize the results of our big risk survey by saying that the youth takes risks but they first think about their actions before they do. This is positive because nothing unexpected will happen. Another important detail is that our interviewees are future marketers. These people have to take risks to earn glory and fame. It’s essential for these students to learn to stand out from the crowd and to do something unusual. Some very dangerous risks in our survey are not taken, which is a good thing. The majority of the respondents doesn’t take any soft or hard drugs, doesn’t have unprotected sex and isn’t gambling. This proves that the future marketers are taking responsibility. Responsibility is also essential in life. According to all this information and results, we can conclude that a lot of the respondents play it safe. We were very happy to see that almost all the students say: rules are meant to be broken. But they take their responsibility.

4. APPENDIX What we have to do when we want to interview the whole school is adding questions to generalize the survey. The questions are more school related and are very informative. We talk about the following questions: 

“What are you studying?”

Is your direction very specific and do you already know what your future job will be? (ex. Speech Therapy) Or is it a direction with a lot of options? (ex. Marketing). We can conclude that the second option is for students who aren’t brave because they want to be sure of employment.

“Were there a lot of people (ex. parents/teachers) who told you that the direction your have chosen would be too heavy for you?” 14


When the student isn’t listening to them he is taking a risk. He does something people don’t agree with. He wants to show that he is capable to do it and that’s a good way to go. 

“Have you studied something else in the past?”; “Did you succeeded?”

When they just stopped with their studies in the past, it involves a high risk because you don’t have thousands of study points. Adding these three questions will make our survey complete. We will have a view of who filled in our survey because we know what they study. The results will be useful for the Arteveldehogeschool because the teachers can go along with the level of risks of the students.

5. RESOURCES Arteveldehogeschool. (sd). Arteveldehogeschool. Opgeroepen op February 2014, 15, van Arteveldehogeschool: http://www.arteveldehogeschool.be/ Global volunteer network. (sd). Global volunteer. Opgeroepen op February 2014, 15, van Global volunteer network: http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/ Power, B. (2012, August 4). Big technology change without big risk. Opgeroepen op May 10, 2014, van Succesfulworkplace: http://www.successfulworkplace.org/2012/08/04/big-technologychange-without-big-risk/ Vanslembrouck, F. (sd). Big risk report. Opgeroepen op February 2014, 15, van enquetesmaken: https://www.enquetesmaken.com/s/72a563d

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Big risk survey corrected version