Invincible honor: masculine honor, perceived invulnerability, and risky decision-making

Aaron L. Pomerantz, Stephen Foster, Kevin Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Masculine honor ideology is characterized by the cultivation, maintenance, and defense of reputations for toughness, bravery, and strength. The link between masculine honor endorsement and increased risk-taking – especially an increased tolerance for and even expectation of violence - is well-established in the literature. However, little empirical research has examined what factors might explain this relationship. This study investigates perceived invulnerability, the cognitive bias that one is immune to threats, as a mediator in the relationship between masculine honor ideology and risky decision-making. Results show moderate support for this relationship’s existence. These findings elaborate on previous research between honor and specific risky decisions by demonstrating honor to instill cognitive biases in its adherents that make them more tolerant of risk, and thus more likely to decide to engage in risky behaviors. The implications of these findings for interpreting previous research, guiding future research, and pursuing specific educational and policy-based efforts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5282-5290
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology

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