The presented experiments are aimed at determining: (1) whether risk perception and risk acceptance are two distinct psychological processes and (2) how aspirations affect each process. It has been tested whether risk is independent of and preferences are depend on aspirations. In Experiment 1 72 employees of a high-tech company were presented with pairs of risky projects. The aspiration level was defi ned as the target return on the project and was set through an explicit instruction. In Experiment 2 93 bridge players were presented with pairs of contracts – one a sure thing and the other a risky one. The aspiration level was relatedto the team IMP points after the fi rst part of a knockout tournament and was set through an instruction. In both experiments with a between-subject design, two different aspiration levels were set for each group. All respondents were asked to judge riskiness of presented options and to select one. The results indicate that risk perception is insensitive to changes in aspirations, but preferences are. This supports distinctness of risk perception and risk acceptance.