In 1946, a Roper/Fortune survey asked "Here are three different kinds of job:
A job which pays quite a low income, but which you were sure of keeping.
A job which pays a good income but which you have a 50-50 chance of losing.
A job which pays an extremely high income if you make the grade but in which you lose almost everything if you don't make it.
If you had your choice, which would you pick?
In 1957, a Roper Commercial survey asked the same question. (In both cases, married women were asked which job they would rather have their husband pick). The results:
Low income but safe 56% 42%
50/50 21% 26%
High income but risky 18% 26%
That's a pretty substantial change for a ten-year period. Unfortunately, the question has never been asked again. Women were considerably more conservative, whether married and answering about their husbands or since and answering about themselves: in 1957, men were almost evenly divided among the three options, while almost 50% of women chose the safe job and only about 20% chose the high income/high risk job.