Interactions between risky decisions, impulsiveness and smoking in young tattooed women

Semion Kertzman*, Alex Kagan, Michael Vainder, Rina Lapidus, Abraham Weizman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: According to previous studies, one of the common problems of everyday life of persons with tattoos is risky behavior. However, direct examination of the decision making process, as well as factors which determine women's risk-taking decisions to get tattoos, have not been conducted. This study investigates whether risk taking decision-making is associated with the self-assessment impulsiveness in tattooed women.Methods: Young women (aged 18-35 years) with (N = 60) and without (N = 60) tattoos, performed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), as a measure of decision-making processes, as well as completing the Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS-11).Results: Tattooed women showed significantly higher scores in the BIS-11 and preference for disadvantageous decks on the IGT compared to non-tattooed women. There was no significant correlation between risky decision-making in the IGT and BIS-11 impulsivity measures. A significantly higher rate of smoking was observed in the tattooed women. However, the analysis did not reveal a group effect after adjustment for smoking in the IGT and the BIS-11 measures.Conclusions: The present study was specifically designed to resolve questions regarding associations between impulsiveness and risky decision-making in tattooed women. It shows that in tattooed women, risky decisions are not a direct result of their self-reported impulsiveness. Smoking does not explain the psychometric differences between tattooed women and controls.

Original languageEnglish
Article number278
JournalBMC Psychiatry
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • Impulsivity
  • Smoking
  • Tattoo
  • The Iowa Gambling Task


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