Existing research has revealed that the behaviour of taking mental risk is of great importance in the development of science because by taking mental risk, students feel confident enough to conduct reasoning on questions whose answers they are not sure of and thus they can produce new and original ideas. Therefore, in the current study, it was aimed to investigate secondary school students’ risk-taking behaviour in relation to some variables (gender, grade level, mother and father’s education level, frequency of reading book, frequency of watching documentary and the time spent playing games on the computer and phone). The current study was designed according to the descriptive survey model. The study group is comprised of 895 fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students (474 females and 421 males) attending different state secondary schools in a city located in the western part of Turkey in 2018-2019 school year. As the data collection tools, a “Personal Information Form” and the “Scale of Perception of Mental Risk-Taking in Science Learning and Its Predictors” developed by Beghetto (2009) and adapted to Turkish by Yaman & Koksal (2014). While evaluating the data of the study, SPSS 22.0 was used and the data were analyzed by means of MANOVA. As a result, it was found that the secondary school students’ taking risk in science learning significantly differs depending on the variables such as grade level, mother and father’s educational level, frequency of reading book, frequency of watching documentary and the time spent playing games on the computer and phone. However, the students’ mental risk-taking in science learning was found to be not varying significantly depending on the gender variable. Moreover, the students’ were found to have exhibited medium level of mental risk-taking behaviour in science.
Mental risk-taking, secondary school students, science course.