Article

I'm Feeling Lucky: The Relationship Between Affect and Risk-Seeking in the Framing Effect

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Abstract

Engagement in risky behavior has traditionally been attributed to an underestimation of the associated risks, but recent perspectives suggest that affective reactions toward a risky option may better explain risk-seeking than risk perception. However, the precise relationship between emotion and risk-seeking remains unclear. The current set of studies elucidates the relationship between emotion and risk-seeking in risky choice framing, using a gambling task. In Study 1, reliance on emotion was related to risk-seeking, but goals to regulate emotion mitigated these effects. In Study 2, positive affect was associated with risk-seeking in loss frames, but unrelated to risk aversion in gain frames. Collectively, these findings indicate a general role for emotion reliance on risk-seeking and a specific role of positive affect on risk-seeking in the loss trials of the framing effect.

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... This emotional heuristic rises from a strong attractiveness of the sure gains, as well as a high aversion of the sure losses. Recent neuroimaging and behavioral studies have provided evidence in support of this assumption (De Martino et al., 2006; Cheung and Mikels, 2011; Cassotti et al., 2012). In their initial paradigm used to assess framing susceptibility (the " Asian-disease problem " ; Tversky and Kahneman, 1981), participants were presented with a choice between a sure and a risky option with identical expected values. ...
... In fact, while high probabilities of gain lead to the framing effect, low probabilities of gain could suppress susceptibility to it (Kühberger et al., 1999). Second, as previously mentioned, many studies have emphasized the role of emotions in the framing effect (De Martino et al., 2006; Cheung and Mikels, 2011; Cassotti et al., 2012). Until now, no research has considered these two factors. ...
... They hypothesized that, compared to an equivalent risky option, a sure gain is emotionally attractive whereas a sure loss is emotionally aversive. To our knowledge, only one study has focused on the link between self-reported emotion and the framing effect (Cheung and Mikels, 2011). Using the same task as De Martino et al. (2006), Cheung and Mikels (2011) measured the valence of participants' emotion about their choices. ...
Article
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Human risky decision-making is known to be highly susceptible to profit-motivated responses elicited by the way in which options are framed. In fact, studies investigating the framing effect have shown that the choice between sure and risky options depends on how these options are presented. Interestingly, the probability of gain of the risky option has been highlighted as one of the main factors causing variations in susceptibility to the framing effect. However, while it has been shown that high probabilities of gain of the risky option systematically lead to framing bias, questions remain about the influence of low probabilities of gain. Therefore, the first aim of this paper was to clarify the respective roles of high and low probabilities of gain in the framing effect. Due to the difference between studies using a within- or between-subjects design, we conducted a first study investigating the respective roles of these designs. For both designs, we showed that trials with a high probability of gain led to the framing effect whereas those with a low probability did not. Second, as emotions are known to play a key role in the framing effect, we sought to determine whether they are responsible for such a debiasing effect of the low probability of gain. Our second study thus investigated the relationship between emotion and the framing effect depending on high and low probabilities. Our results revealed that positive emotion was related to risk-seeking in the loss frame, but only for trials with a high probability of gain. Taken together, these results support the interpretation that low probabilities of gain suppress the framing effect because they prevent the positive emotion of gain anticipation.
... In line with these results, Chuang & Kung [27] found that an unspecific negative state led people to make more hazardous choices than those made in a positive affective state. On the contrary, other studies demonstrated that participants in a positive emotional state showed a more optimistic perception of the risk, as revealed by their increased tendency toward riskier decisions, compared to participants in a negative or neutral emotional state [2,4,6,7,28,29]. These studies are in line with the predictions of Affect Infusion Model (AIM), which states that incidental emotions act on the evaluation of the target stimulus via a "congruence effect" [30]. ...
... Consistently with these assumptions, several studies found that people in a positive affective state made more optimistic evaluations regarding risk, as revealed by their increased risk-appetite behaviour [2,6]. Cheung & Mikels [29] also showed that positive incidental states correlate with a preference towards risky choices, as recently confirmed by the study of Stanton et al. [7], in which the induction of a positive emotion (happiness), through videos, induced individuals to make riskier choices in a subsequent task in comparison with those receiving a negative induction. Similarly, other studies found that people in a negative mood tended to prefer less risky options than those in a positive state [4,28]. ...
... This task presented different levels of difficulty and a monetary reward proportional to the chosen difficulty level. More specifically, in conformity with the results of previous studies [2,7,29], we expected that positive feedback would increase positive emotions and would induce participants to choose higher difficulty levels. The opposite should occur with negative feedback: in this case participants would prefer easier cognitive task with low monetary reward. ...
... Yet, further evidence has been mixed and inconsistent. Relative to a control condition, focusing on emotions sometimes selectively enhanced the framing effect among males but not females [17], and sometimes did not alter the size of the effect [18,19]. More specifically, positive affect either eliminated the framing effect [20,21] or increased the effect relative to a neutral condition [18] or led to an effect of the same size as the neutral condition but larger than under negative affect [19]. ...
... Relative to a control condition, focusing on emotions sometimes selectively enhanced the framing effect among males but not females [17], and sometimes did not alter the size of the effect [18,19]. More specifically, positive affect either eliminated the framing effect [20,21] or increased the effect relative to a neutral condition [18] or led to an effect of the same size as the neutral condition but larger than under negative affect [19]. Similarly, negative affect either attenuated the effect [21,22] or was unrelated to it [18][19][20]. ...
... More specifically, positive affect either eliminated the framing effect [20,21] or increased the effect relative to a neutral condition [18] or led to an effect of the same size as the neutral condition but larger than under negative affect [19]. Similarly, negative affect either attenuated the effect [21,22] or was unrelated to it [18][19][20]. Resolving these conflicting findings might require going beyond positive versus negative valence in studying the role of emotions in the framing effect. ...
Article
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In the risky-choice framing effect, different wording of the same options leads to predictably different choices. In a large-scale survey conducted from March to May 2020 and including 88,181 participants from 47 countries, we investigated how stress, concerns, and trust moderated the effect in the Disease problem, a prominent framing problem highly evocative of the COVID-19 pandemic. As predicted by the appraisal-tendency framework, risk aversion and the framing effect in our study were larger than under typical circumstances. Furthermore, perceived stress and concerns over coronavirus were positively associated with the framing effect. Contrary to predictions, however, they were not related to risk aversion. Trust in the government’s efforts to handle the coronavirus was associated with neither risk aversion nor the framing effect. The proportion of risky choices and the framing effect varied substantially across nations. Additional exploratory analyses showed that the framing effect was unrelated to reported compliance with safety measures, suggesting, along with similar findings during the pandemic and beyond, that the effectiveness of framing manipulations in public messages might be limited. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed, along with directions for further investigations.
... This affective heuristic arises from a strong attractiveness of the sure gains on the one hand, and a high aversion of the sure losses on the other hand. Recent neuroimaging and behavioral studies have provided evidence in support of this assumption (De Martino et al., 2006;Cheung and Mikels, 2011;Cassotti et al., 2012). In a study by De Martino et al. (2006), in each trial, the participants were given an initial amount of money (e.g., 50£) and were confronted with a choice between a sure outcome and a gamble of equally expected value, represented as a "wheel of fortune." ...
... Behavioral studies exploring the influence of emotional regulation and incidental emotions on framing susceptibility have also provided converging evidence that the framing effect could stem from an affective heuristic belonging to an intuitive type of reasoning. In a framing task adapted from De Martino et al. (2006), Cheung and Mikels (2011) demonstrated that risk-taking decreased significantly compared to a standard control condition when the participants were asked to "not let their emotions influence their choices" (emotion-regulation condition). In addition, risk-taking was related to the extent to which the participants stated that they relied on their emotions when making their choices. ...
... In a second experiment, the participants rated how they felt about their decision (i.e., from very negative to very positive). Positive affect increased risk taking in the loss frame, but not in the gain frame, whereas negative affect had no effect (Cheung and Mikels, 2011). Finally, one study directly investigated the effects of positive and negative incidental emotions on the framing effect (Cassotti et al., 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Emotions strongly influence our decisions, particularly those made under risk. A classic example of the effect of emotion on decision making under risk is the " framing effect, " which involves predictable shifts in preferences when the same problem is formulated in different ways. According to dual process theories, this bias could stem from an affective heuristic belonging to an intuitive type of reasoning. In this study, we examined whether specific incidental negative emotions (i.e., fear and anger) influence framing susceptibility and risk-taking identically. In each trial, participants received an initial amount of money, and pictures of angry or fearful faces were presented to them. Finally, participants chose between a sure option and a gamble option of equally expected value in a gain or loss frame. Risk-taking was modulated by emotional context: fear and anger influenced risk-taking specifically in the gain frame and had opposite effects. Fear increased risk-averse choices, whereas anger decreased risk-averse choices, leading to a suppression of the framing effect. These results confirm that emotions play a key role in framing susceptibility.
... There are multiple cognitive explanations for the underlying mechanisms of framing (see e.g., Kahneman & Tversky, 2000;Reyna, 2004). Nonetheless, affective explanations of framing have also emerged (Cheung & Mikels, 2011;De Martino, Kumaran, Seymour, & Dolan, 2006) and are acknowledged by one of the initial purveyors of the framing effect (Kahneman & Frederick, 2007). Although evidence suggests a role for affect in the framing effect, its precise role in the effect remains unclear. ...
... Additional insight into the role of affect in the framing effect has been garnered from behavioral findings (Cheung & Mikels, 2011). Using the same task as De Martino and colleagues (2006), Cheung and Mikels (2011) found that individuals were less risk taking when instructed to not let their emotions influence their choices in comparison to individuals who were instructed to make their decision using their emotions. ...
... Additional insight into the role of affect in the framing effect has been garnered from behavioral findings (Cheung & Mikels, 2011). Using the same task as De Martino and colleagues (2006), Cheung and Mikels (2011) found that individuals were less risk taking when instructed to not let their emotions influence their choices in comparison to individuals who were instructed to make their decision using their emotions. Importantly, the emotionfocused group that considered their immediate feelings toward the choice options performed no different from a control group that was given no instructions. ...
Article
Full-text available
When faced with a decision, certain aspects of the decision itself shape our affective responses to choice options, which, in turn, influence our choices. These integral affective influences manifest as immediate feelings about choice options as well as the feelings that we anticipate we will feel after certain potential outcomes. We examined whether the effect of framing on risk taking can be explained through the mediating roles of immediate and anticipated affect. Two experiments were conducted using a gambling task. On each trial, participants were endowed a sum of money (e.g., $25) then presented with a choice between a sure option (leaving them with a portion of the initial endowment) and a gamble option (that could result in either keeping or losing the entire endowment). The sure option was framed differently across two within-participant conditions: as a gain (keep $20 from $25) or loss (lose $5 from $25). Experiment 1 examined whether immediate feelings toward choice options explain how framing the sure option as a loss versus a gain increases risk taking. Experiment 2 examined whether immediate and/or anticipated affect explain how framing guides risk taking. We found that the tendency to take risks to avoid sure losses was explained by immediate (not anticipated) affective evaluations of the sure option only. Individuals tended to take more risks when faced with sure losses due to greater negative immediate feelings that were evoked by sure losses relative to sure gains.
... In line with these results, Chuang & Kung [27] found that an unspecific negative state led people to make more hazardous choices than those made in a positive affective state. On the contrary, other studies demonstrated that participants in a positive emotional state showed a more optimistic perception of the risk, as revealed by their increased tendency toward riskier decisions, compared to participants in a negative or neutral emotional state [2,4,6,7,28,29]. These studies are in line with the predictions of Affect Infusion Model (AIM), which states that incidental emotions act on the evaluation of the target stimulus via a "congruence effect" [30]. ...
... Consistently with these assumptions, several studies found that people in a positive affective state made more optimistic evaluations regarding risk, as revealed by their increased risk-appetite behaviour [2,6]. Cheung & Mikels [29] also showed that positive incidental states correlate with a preference towards risky choices, as recently confirmed by the study of Stanton et al. [7], in which the induction of a positive emotion (happiness), through videos, induced individuals to make riskier choices in a subsequent task in comparison with those receiving a negative induction. Similarly, other studies found that people in a negative mood tended to prefer less risky options than those in a positive state [4,28]. ...
... This task presented different levels of difficulty and a monetary reward proportional to the chosen difficulty level. More specifically, in conformity with the results of previous studies [2,7,29], we expected that positive feedback would increase positive emotions and would induce participants to choose higher difficulty levels. The opposite should occur with negative feedback: in this case participants would prefer easier cognitive task with low monetary reward. ...
Conference Paper
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The main aim of this study was to investigate whether the effect of induced affective states, obtained through a false (positive vs. negative) feedback in a cognitive task, influenced participants' choices in a consecutive cognitive task. We also investigated a possible effect of 'social pressure' on individual preferences, by introducing information about the percentage of difficulty level choices provided by other participants. The 3 x 2 experimental design involved the manipulation of two between-subjects variables: feedback (positive vs. negative) and social pressure (none vs. prudent vs. hazardous); 180 undergraduates (90 males), with mean age 23.99 (SD=2.89) participated in the experiment as unpaid volunteers. As expected, results showed that the feedback manipulation was highly effective. Results also showed that participants who received a negative feedback chose less difficult tasks, while those receiving a positive feedback preferred more difficult tasks. Some emotions partially mediated such effect. Instead, social pressure did not affect participants' choices.
... Framing can take several different forms, and each form is associated with different mechanisms that influence behavior in unique ways (Levin, Schneider, & Gaeth, 1998). Affect is one mechanism that has been able to account for the effect of framing (see, e.g., Cheung & Mikels, 2011;De Martino, Kumaran, Seymour, & Dolan, 2006;Lerner & Keltner, 2001;Stark, Baldwin, Hertel, & Rothman, 2017;Young, Shuster, & Mikels, 2019). Importantly, affect influences judgment and decision-making through different pathways (Lerner, Li, Valdesolo, & Kassam, 2015). ...
... Beyond these considerations, Rothman and Salovey (1997) emphasized the importance of considering the affective state of an individual in addition to their risk perception. Indeed, evidence indicates that the effects of framing are dependent on affective processes (e.g., Cheung & Mikels, 2011;De Martino et al., 2006;Lerner & Keltner, 2001;Stark et al., 2017;Young et al., 2019). However, most of the research on the role of affect in framing has focused on risky choice framing. ...
... Positive integral affect in the gain frame led to an increased willingness to take the medications, whereas negative evaluations in the loss frame influenced the medications' perceived risk. These results are consistent with other work involving risky choice framing, which shows that integral affect is the important affective pathway that guides choice (Cheung & Mikels, 2011;Stark et al., 2017;Young et al., 2019). Importantly, though, this work extends previous research on risky choice framing to attribute framing as well as into the health domain. ...
Article
Full-text available
Affect can influence judgments and decision-making in multiple ways. One way is through (a) integral affect, or affect related to the choice at hand, and another way is through (b) incidental affect, or affect unrelated to the choice at hand. Research suggests integral affect influences risk-related decision-making, especially in the context of risky choice framing. However, the role of affect in other forms of framing (e.g., attribute framing) has received little attention. We examined how integral affect (Study 1) along with incidental affect (Study 2) can alter perceptions of risk and likelihood to take hypothetical medications. Participants read pamphlets about medications with unique side effects presented as a gain (e.g., 86% of people who took this medication did not experience nausea) or loss (e.g., 14% of people who took this medication did experience nausea). Study 2 extended Study 1 by manipulating incidental affect through positive, neutral, and negative affective contexts to examine its impact on subsequent evaluations of framed information. Studies 1 and 2 measured positive and negative feelings about medications, risk perceptions, and likelihood of taking medications. Across both studies, gain-framed attributes led to more positive integral affect, subsequently increasing likelihood to take medications, whereas loss-framed attributes led to more negative feelings and increased perceived riskiness of medications. Study 2 found that positive affective contexts indirectly led to an increased likelihood to take medication by increasing positive feelings about the medications. Taken together, leveraging positivity through gain frames and positive contexts could improve adherence to medication plans. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... Most of these studies induce moods experimentally or measure naturally occurring mood. However, many of the studies in this tradition come to conflicting conclusions (e.g., Cheung and Mikels, 2011;Demaree et al., 2011;Heilman et al., 2010;Hockey et al., 2000;Isen and Geva, 1987;Isen and Patrick, 1983;Lee and Andrade, 2011;Leith and Baumeister, 1996;Lerner and Keltner, 2001;Raghunathan and Pham, 1999;Wang, 2006;Yuen and Lee, 2003). As a result, two contrary theories have emerged on the relationship between affect and risk preferences. ...
... A likely cause for those inconsistent results might be that these studies looked at general positive and negative moods thereby neglecting different effects of specific moods. In particular, looking at the specific effects of negative moods that have the same valence might help to solve the question how specific moods may influence risk preferences (Cheung and Mikels, 2011;Heilman, et al., 2010;Lerner and Keltner, 2001;Raghunathan and Pham, 1999). For instance, although fear and anger are both negatively valenced emotional states, they are assumed to have opposite effects on risk perception. ...
Article
Full-text available
We test Baron’s (2008) hypothesis that affect can influence entrepreneurial behavior via its influence on risk preferences in an economic experiment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first experiment that uses an incentive-compatible mechanism to test the influence of moods on risk preferences. Since entrepreneurs often have to make risky decisions with large consequences, our experiment also includes a treatment with very high financial stakes.
... While the emotions are carefully specified and differentiated, the risk choices are spoken about more generically as simply "risk-seeking" or "risk-averse" (e.g. Lerner & Keltner, 2001;Cheung & Mikels, 2011;Fessler, Pillsworth & Flamson, 2004;Arkes, Herren & Isen, 1988). Yet, many of the studies examining affect and risk use very different types of risk tasks that should not be conflated. ...
... Alternatively, another type of gambling task offers participants the choice between two options with the same probabilities but different amounts (e.g. Cheung & Mikels, 2011). In this example, participants would choose between Gamble A where they have a 50% chance of winning $1 and a 50% chance of losing $1 and Gamble B where they have a 50% chance of winning $10 and a 50% chance of losing $10. ...
Article
Although traditional decision theories assume that people make choices by weighing the possible gains and risks, there are many different factors which can influence people???s decision making. This dissertation examines several important influences on risky decision making including age, risk domain and affect. The research in Chapter 2 examines how young and older adults perceive and judge risks in several risk domains. Older adults are generally stereotyped to be more risk-averse than young adults. However, we found that while older adults, as compared to young adults, did perceive more risk and rated themselves as less likely to engage in risks in health/safety and ethical domains, the opposite pattern occurred for social risks: older adults perceived less risk and rated themselves as more likely to engage in the socially risky behaviors. The research in Chapter 3 focuses on the effects of emotional valence and certainty on how people think and decide about social and health risks. Participants primed with positive emotions came up with more positive outcomes than participants primed with negative emotions for both a social risk task and a health risk task. However, participants primed with positive emotions also produced more negative outcomes than participants primed with negative emotions for the health risk task. Participants primed with positive emotions also rated themselves as more likely to choose the riskier task for the health risk task and one replication of the social risk task. Chapter 4 reviews the literature on affective influences on risky decision. Although there are many distinctions made between the different types of emotions which can influence risk preferences, the type of risk involved is often ignored. In my review, I highlight some of the typical risky decision making tasks and their advantages and disadvantages as well as identify some holes in this area of research.
... Some research suggests that positive and negative emotions can affect decision-making differently. The Affect Infusion Model suggests that compared to positive emotions, negative emotions consistently leads people to have more pessimistic perceptions and thus makes them more risk averse [33,34]; this has reliably been replicated in several studies [35][36][37]. On the other hand, the Mood Maintenance Hypothesis proposes that those who are in elated moods tend to be more risk averse to keep them in a happy state [38]; this has also been shown in the empirical literature [39][40][41]. ...
... On the other hand, the Mood Maintenance Hypothesis proposes that those who are in elated moods tend to be more risk averse to keep them in a happy state [38]; this has also been shown in the empirical literature [39][40][41]. Still others find that negative emotions sometimes have no effect [36,39]. One possible explanation for these null results is that fear and anger are two basic emotions with negative valence and when experienced together may possibly cancel each other out [42]. ...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to understand how differences are in preferences for recovery options of residential fire disasters among four different groups, which helps us understand the role of empathy in public administration. Policy decision on allocating resources were assessed in each group through an experimental design. The results show that compared to those whose emotion was not aroused, those whose emotion was aroused were significantly less satisfied with the recovery scenarios. Besides, economic compensation, material recovery, and psychological assistance were significant predictors of participants' satisfaction level. However, the relative importance of these recovery options varied largely within- and between-groups. This paper concludes that high emotional arousal negatively influenced individuals' satisfaction with recovery options while assuming decision roles did not have a main effect. Overall, empathetic officials' preferences for recovery options were similar to the victims while the indifferent officials' preferences were similar to the ordinary public. When people were in the same emotional state, those making decisions for others showed greater preference in psychological assistance. In practice, more emphasis should be put on the empathic emotion of officials in emergency management. Disaster recovery may go more smoothly, be more equitable, and more efficient when public officials are able to walk in the shoes of the victims and adjust policy decisions that better reflect the needs of the victims.
... As discussed further below, given the design of the primary experiment, it is possible that affective reactions trigger more risk seeking behaviour among participants (Cummins et al., 2009;Cheung and Mikels, 2011). Potentially, these changes in risk seeking behaviour could explain our results for the primary experiment. ...
... In the design of the primary experiment, the manager triggering a positive affective reaction was associated with the riskier project i.e., the division's net profit was either $552,000 (with a 40% probability) or $415,000 (with a 60% probability), compared to a certain net profit for the other project. Potentially, a positive affective reaction could induce risk seeking behaviour (Cheung and Mikels, 2011). If participants under the positive affective reaction were more risk seeking, they would be more likely to choose the riskier project. ...
Article
It is generally recognized that decisions about capital projects should be made by independent reviewers who select the economically strongest projects. However, prior research finds that reviewers’ choices can be biased by their affective reactions to a manager proposing a capital project. Potentially, this bias could be reduced by holding reviewers more accountable. We contend that holding reviewers accountable will lessen the effect of positive, but not negative, affective reactions on capital project choice. To provide evidence on our predictions, we conduct an experiment using highly experienced participants. Participants’ task is to select between two capital projects, each proposed by a different manager. Although one project is economically preferred relative to the other project, we manipulate whether there is a negative affective reaction to the manager proposing the preferred project or a positive affective reaction to the manager proposing the non-preferred project. We also manipulate the presence versus absence of reviewer accountability. As expected, participants were more likely to select the economically non-preferred project when proposed by a manager triggering a positive affective reaction, but this tendency was reduced by accountability. Also, as expected, participants were less likely to select the economically preferred project when proposed by a manager triggering a negative affective reaction, and accountability did not reduce this tendency. Implications of our findings for theory and practice are discussed.
... Although traditionally the framing effect has been explained as a cognitive phenomenon (see, e.g., Kahneman & Tversky, 2000;Reyna, 2004), these findings suggest that the framing effect is at least partially due to emotional reactions to the gain and loss frames. Behavioral findings provide additional insight into the role of integral affect in the framing effect (Cheung & Mikels, 2011). Participants completed a framing task that included affect probes to assess the extent to which they relied on emotion to make their decisions as well as how positive versus negative they felt about the decisions. ...
... Participants completed a framing task that included affect probes to assess the extent to which they relied on emotion to make their decisions as well as how positive versus negative they felt about the decisions. Cheung and Mikels (2011) found that when young adults relied on emotion to make their decisions, they were more likely to choose the risky gamble option. Moreover, positive affect was a significant predictor of risk taking in the loss frames. ...
Chapter
To best understand the role of emotion in decision-making across the adult life span, it is imperative to have a thorough grounding in judgment and decision making theoretical perspectives. Thus, we provide an overview of theoretical perspectives that emphasize the role of emotion in decision making including dual-process models, cognitive-experiential self-theory, and the affect heuristic. In applying these perspectives to the adult lifespan, we draw from lifespan theories of motivation. Given age-related declines in deliberative cognitive processes but enhancement in emotional processes, understanding the role of emotion in decision making in later life is paramount. In addition, findings are converging on a pattern in which an information-processing preference for negative information in youth shifts toward the positive in later life. This positivity effect plays an important role in decision making. Lastly, we consider how these findings apply to financial and health domains across the adult life span.
... Different dimensional representations of emotion might explain these findings 1 . Additionally, in a study by Cheung and Mikels (2011), emotional regulation leads to less risk-taking behavior under both gain and loss frames. Reliance on emotion, however, leads to a similar level of framing effects compared to a control condition. ...
... The finding of this paper is in line with these studies, highlighting an interplay between emotion and judgmental heuristics. Recent studies by Cheung andMikels (2011), Cassotti et al. (2012), Stanton et al. (2014), and Ma et al. (2015) have addressed the interplay between emotion and judgmental heuristics on the behavioral level. These studies analyze how induced emotion affects the individual susceptibility to judgmental heuristics and thereby behavior. ...
Article
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Individuals often rely on simple heuristics when they face complex choice situations under uncertainty. Traditionally, it has been proposed that cognitive processes are the main driver to evaluate different choice options and to finally reach a decision. Growing evidence, however, highlights a strong interrelation between judgment and decision-making (JDM) on the one hand, and emotional processes on the other hand. This also seems to apply to judgmental heuristics, i.e., decision processes that are typically considered to be fast and intuitive. In this study, participants are exposed to different probabilities of receiving an unpleasant electric shock. Information about electric shock probabilities is either positively or negatively framed. Integrated skin conductance responses (ISCRs) while waiting for electric shock realization are used as an indicator for participants' emotional arousal. This measure is compared to objective probabilities. I find evidence for a relation between emotional body reactions measured by ISCRs and the framing effect. Under negative frames, participants show significantly higher ISCRs while waiting for an electric shock to be delivered than under positive frames. This result might contribute to a better understanding of the psychological processes underlying JDM. Further studies are necessary to reveal the causality underlying this finding, i.e., whether emotional processes influence JDM or vice versa.
... It would be appropriate to remind here that there is a negative relationship between risk perception and risk-taking propensity (Sitkin & Weingart, 1995). In this regard, it has been argued that exaggerated emotional consistency is also influential on perceived risk (Florea, 2015), that the framing effect paves the way for making more risky choices, that individuals' risk avoidance propensity disappears or even reverses when they win (Cheung & Mikels, 2011), and that violating the basic ratios causes individuals to perceive risk less than it actually is. However, there are studies showing that overconfidence has no significant impact on risk perception (Simon, et al., 2000;Keh et al., 2002). ...
... The first stage of another two-stage study explained that reliance on emotions is associated with risk seeking, but the goals of regulating emotions mitigate these effects, while the second stage indicated that the framing effect in case of loss is also associated with risk seeking, but that effect in case of gain is not related to risk aversion (Cheung & Mikels, 2011). ...
... In within-subjects' conditions, the sure option was framed as a gain or a loss. In line with earlier studies (Cheung & Mikels, 2011;Stark, Baldwin, Hertel, & Rothman, 2017), the authors find that framing affected anticipatory emotions and these emotions in turn mediated the effect of framing on choice. Anticipated emotions, on the other hand, didn't play a significant role in explaining the relationship between framing and choice. ...
... The sure option was calculated using a utility function that accounts for different levels of risk preferences. Given prior evidence that stressed the importance of anticipatory emotions in gain and loss domain (Cheung & Mikels, 2011;Stark et al., 2017;Young et al., 2019), we had each participant in our study to make choices under gain and loss domain. Finally, prior studies employed only student samples (Davis, Love, & Maddox, 2009;Kocher, Krawczyk, & van Winden, 2014;Schlösser et al., 2013), whereas we used a nationally representative sample to test the generalizability of the findings. ...
... For instance, wearable devices [49] and virtual reality scenarios [50] are already being developed to assist users in reaching desirable states. Pain reduction and stress relief are common outcomes of such systems [51], while decision-making less susceptible to risk seeking, as in [52], could also be a valuable addition. The practicality of the mentioned benefits alone should be enough to spark interest in this domain of applications, especially in current times of global crisis [53]. ...
... Recent studies in media psychology and behavioural economics have shown that affect, which is often involuntarily triggered while interpreting frames, is a major factor influencing action, in particular decision-making (e.g., Cheung and Mikels, 2011; Gross and D'Ambrosio, 2004). Although these studies are conducted in tightly controlled laboratory experiments, they are important in showing that the behavioural tendencies intimately tied to how we affectively perceive the world are essential conditions for social action. ...
Article
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Key elements of discourse on the recent economic crisis are attributions of crisis responsibility. Such attributions are assumed to have consequences for audiences’ thoughts and actions in domains relevant to the crisis. Although studies have suggested ways to conceptualize attributions of responsibility, their effects on social action remain poorly understood. This essay develops an empirically grounded theoretical model and methodological tool to reconstruct ideal-typical attributions of responsibility from discourse along the dimensions of attribution targets and attributed logics of action. It further proposes that combinations of these ideal types constitute affective framings that influence how the crisis is perceived and how an audience may act in crisis relevant domains.
... This study indicated that in the presence of emotional boosters, loss-framed messages might lose their advantage over gain-framed messages in motivating detection behaviors (Ferrer et al., 2012). In addition, relationship between emotion and riskseeking were also discussed, and the findings demonstrated a general role for emotion reliance on risk-seeking and a specific role of positive effect on risk-seeking in the loss trials of the framing effect (Cheung and Mikels, 2011). Collectively, there is growing evidence elucidating the relationship between emotion and the framing effect in decision making, especially medical or health-related decision. ...
Article
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Numerous studies have demonstrated the robustness of the framing effect in a variety of contexts, especially in medical decision making. Unfortunately, research is still inconsistent as to how so many variables impact framing effects in medical decision making. Additionally, much attention should be paid to the framing effect not only in hypothetical scenarios but also in clinical experience.
... Indeed, the framing task recruits brain areas that underpin affective functions (De Martino, Kumaran, Seymour, & Dolan, 2006). Intentional efforts to down-regulate affect induced by frames diminishes gambling propensity in the framing task (Cheung & Mikels, 2011), further suggesting a link between choice behavior and emotions evoked by frames. By robustly manipulating affective state, the present study informs our understanding of the affective processes underlying framing effects. ...
Article
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Emotions can shape decision processes by altering valuation signals, risk perception, and strategic orientation. Although multiple theories posit a role for affective processes in mediating the influence of frames on decision making, empirical studies have yet to demonstrate that manipulated affect modulates framing phenomena. The present study asked whether induced affective states alter gambling propensity and the influence of frames on decision making. In a between-subjects design, we induced mood (happy, sad, or neutral) in subjects (N=91) via films that were interleaved with the framing task. Happy mood induction increased gambling and apparently accentuated framing effects compared to sad mood induction, although the effect on framing could have resulted from the fact that the increased tendency to gamble made the framing measure more sensitive. Happy mood induction increased gambling, but not framing magnitude, compared to neutral mood induction. Subjects experiencing a sad mood induction did not exhibit behavioral differences from those experiencing a neutral mood. For those subjects who experienced the happy mood induction, both gambling propensity and framing magnitude were positively correlated with the magnitude of the change in their mood valence. We discuss the broader implications of mood effects on real-world economic decisions.
... Past research supports the notion that self-regulation skills, which are closely connected with emotion regulation, affect gambling behavior. For example, in one study exploring the relation between emotion and risk-taking, experimenters manipulated emotion regulation, by either encouraging or discouraging participants to rely on emotions while making gambling decisions (Cheung & Mikels, 2011). The results of this study showed that participants in the emotion-regulation condition were less likely to gamble than DISCREPANT SELF-ESTEEM, EGO THREAT, AND RISK-TAKING 15 those in the emotion-focused condition, supporting the idea that reliance on emotion leads to riskier behavior. ...
... Ces procédures présentent l'avantage de nous permettre d'étudier une plus grande variété d'émotions.Enfin, afin d'étudier l'influence des émotions complexes intégrales sur la prise de décision et la sensibilité à l'effet du cadre (c'est-à-dire des émotions induites par le matériel ou la situation dans laquelle est placé -ou a été placé -le participant), l'utilisation d'échelles émotionnelles, mesurant directement le ressenti affectif des participants tout au long de la tâche, nous semblerait constituer un précieux outil expérimental complémentaire. Par exemple,Cheung et Mikels (2011) ont demandé aux participants soumis à une tâche dérivée de celle de DeMartino et al. (2006) de préciser d'une part à quel point les émotions ont influencé leur prise de décision et d'autre part s'ils se sentaient plutôt contents ou mécontents de leur décision. Il s'avère que la prise en compte des émotions par les participants est liée à leur prise de risque. ...
Thesis
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The general goal of this thesis was to study (i) the influence of different socio-emotional contexts on decision-making under risk, in children, adolescents and adults and (ii) the developmental dynamics of the Types 1 (heuristic) and 2 (analytic) of reasoning within the framework of the Dual Process theories, and their articulation with the Prospect Theory. According to us, a better articulation between these two theories could account more efficiently of the influence of emotions on reward and punishment sensitivity in decision-making. Therefore, we first examined the influence of an incidental emotional context on the framing effect - a classical bias in decision-making - on adult participants. We started by studying the influence of the valence of the emotions (positive or negative) and then the influence of different specific emotions (anger and fear) on this bias. Our results revealed that the participants were no longer affected by the framing effect following an exposure to a positive emotional context, due to a decrease of risk aversion in the loss frame. The two negative emotions we considered had opposite effects on risk taking: fear tended to increase risk taking, whereas anger tended to decrease it. In a follow-up study, we investigated the influence of incidental positive emotions on the framing effect during adolescence, a critical period for risk taking. In adolescents, the framing effect was modulated by the amount of the outcome at stake, and the emotional context had different impact on this bias depending of the amount of the outcome considered. Then, we examined the development of two integral (and counterfactual) emotions, regret and relief, and how these emotions affect our willingness to reconsider a choice. We elaborated a new gambling task and we manipulated the outcome obtained by the participants to induce regret or relief. This study provided evidence that the ability to experience regret and relief and the ability to take them into consideration continue to develop during late childhood and adolescence. We finally studied the development of social regret and relief from late childhood to adulthood, using a situation of social competition (playing against a playmate). This socio-emotional context seems to bias the rational evaluation of regret and relief in adolescence, as some situations are evaluated as more desirable, as compared to the same situations in a context of individual game. These results are discussed in light of the Prospect theory, as reward and punishment sensitivity seems to be differently modulated by socio-emotional context, at each developmental stage.
... Anufriev and Panchenko (2009) modeled a market with fundamentalists and trend-following agents, assuming that all agents were risk averse. However, though psychological studies have shown that some people are risk seeking rather than risk-averse (Cheung & Mikels, 2011;Nicholson, Soane, Fenton-O'Creevy, & Willman, 2005), Anufriev and Panchenko (2009) did not take such individual differences into account. ...
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We investigated the effects of news valence, the direction of trends in graphically presented price series, and the culture and personality of traders in a financial trading task. Participants were given 12 virtual shares of financial assets and asked to use price graphs and news items to maximize their returns by buying, selling, or holding each one. In making their decisions, they were influenced by properties of both news items and price series but they relied more on the former. Western participants had lower trading latencies and lower return dispersions than Eastern participants. Those with greater openness to experience had lower trading latencies. Participants bought more shares when they forecast that prices would rise but failed to sell more when they forecast that they would fall. These findings are all consistent with the view that people trading assets try to make sense of information by incorporating it within a coherent narrative.
... whether the current frame is a gain or loss frame) (Knutson, Adams, Fong, & Hommer, 2001;Mellers, Schwartz, & Ho, 2016;Zalla et al., 2000). Previous studies suggest that framing effects can be modulated by changes in affective states, psychological stress or time pressure, and mood (Cassotti et al., 2012;Cheung & Mikels, 2011;Druckman & Mcdermott, 2016;Mano, 1994;Porcelli & Delgado, 2009;Stanton et al., 2014;Svenson & Benson, 1993). These studies show that while positive emotional states decrease the framing effect (Cassotti et al., 2012;Druckman & Mcdermott, 2016), negative emotional states increase the framing effect (Druckman & Mcdermott, 2016;Mano, 1994;Porcelli & Delgado, 2009). ...
Article
Adaptive decision making requires analysis of available information during the process of choice. In many decisions that information is presented visually - which means that variations in visual properties (e.g., salience, complexity) can potentially influence the process of choice. In the current study, we demonstrate that variation in the left-right positioning of risky and safe decision options can influence the canonical gain-loss framing effect. Two experiments were conducted using an economic framing task in which participants chose between gambles and certain outcomes. The first experiment demonstrated that the magnitude of the gain-loss framing effect was greater when the certain option signaling the current frame was presented on the left side of the visual display. Eye-tracking data during task performance showed a left-gaze bias for initial fixations, suggesting that the option presented on the left side was processed first. Combination of eye-tracking and choice data revealed that there was a significant effect of direction of first gaze (i.e. left vs. right) as well as an interaction between gaze direction and identity of the first fixated information (i.e. certain vs. gamble) regardless of frame. A second experiment presented the gamble and certain options in a random order, with a temporal delay between their presentations. We found that the magnitude of gain-loss framing was larger when the certain option was presented first, regardless of left and right positioning, only in individuals with lower risk-taking tendencies. The effect of presentation order on framing was not present in high risk-takers. These results suggest that the sequence of visual information processing as well as their left-right positioning can bias choices by changing the impact of the presented information during risky decision making.
... Emotional decision-making is positively correlated with risk-taking behavior (Cheung & Mikels, 2011). An extreme form of such behavior is self-harm (Oldershaw et al., 2009). ...
Article
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Decision-making and risk-taking behavior undergo developmental changes during adolescence. Disadvantageous decision-making and increased risk-taking may lead to problematic behaviors such as substance use and abuse, pathological gambling and excessive internet use. Based on MEDLINE searches, this article reviews the literature on decision-making and risk-taking and their relationship to addiction vulnerability in youth. Decision-making and risk-taking behaviors involve brain areas that undergoing developmental changes during puberty and young adulthood. Individual differences and peer pressure also relate importantly to decision-making and risk-taking. Brain-based changes in emotional, motivational and cognitive processing may underlie risk-taking and decision-making propensities in adolescence, making this period a time of heightened vulnerability for engagement in additive behaviors.
... This, again, may be due to the contrived nature of the laboratory setting. Further, there is experimental research showing that positive mood decreases perceptions of risk (Cheung & Mikels, 2011), which may promote alcohol consumption. Daily process research on positive mood tells a more compelling story. ...
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Several theories posit problematic alcohol use develops through mechanisms of positive and negative reinforcement. However, the literature on these mechanisms remains inconsistent. This may be due to a number of issues including a failure to disaggregate negative mood or a failure to account for mood functioning (i.e., stability in mood). Alternatively, there may be differences in typical postdrinking/evening mood on drinking and nondrinking days, however, this has yet to be fully explored. We examined multiple indices of distinct mood states prior to and after typical drinking onset times on drinking and nondrinking days using ecological momentary assessment. College student drinkers ( n = 102) carried personal data devices for 15 days. They reported on mood and alcohol use several times per day. Tonic positive mood was higher on drinking days than nondrinking days prior to typical drinking initiation. After typical drinking times, positive mood was higher on drinking days than nondrinking days. Similarly, negative moods (anxiety, stress, anger, and stress instability) indicated a pattern of lower levels relative to both predrinking mood on drinking days, and matched mood time-points on nondrinking days; though, not all of these differences were statistically different. Results suggest positive and negative reinforcing mechanisms may be at play—though the negative reinforcement effects may manifest through subjectively “better” mood on drinking versus nondrinking days.
... In the reliance on affect condition participants were instructed to take into account how positive or negative they feel regarding each choice and to make their final decision using their affective insights and emotions (e.g. Cheung & Mikels, 2011;Mikels, Maglio, Reed, & Kaplowitz, 2011). Additionally, after every tenth trial, participants were asked to provide an answer to the question "to what extent did you rely on your affective reactions while making the preceding choices", on a scale from 1 (not at all) to 7 (completely). ...
Article
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The Monty Hall dilemma (MHD) presents an intriguing choice anomaly that offers insight into human reasoning. It presents a specific subclass of decision tasks that require the adequate use of Bayes theorem in order to make optimal decisions. In the MHD, participants are presented with three doors with only one door hiding the prize. After their initial choice of a door, they are offered additional information. A different door (one that does not hide the prize and one not chosen by the participant) is opened to reveal nothing behind it. Afterwards, the participants are offered to stay with their initial choice or to switch to the other remaining door. The better strategy is to always switch; a counterintuitive one for most people. We examine the notorious difficulty of the MHD from an affective perspective while relying on the dual processing approach to thinking. We varied participants' reliance on their affective reactions as opposed to a neutral condition and hypothesized that the affective reactions associated with the staying option contribute to worse performance on the task. Indeed, the participants in the affective condition chose the staying option more often than our control participants. Using the MHD as an appropriate paradigm of conditional probability reasoning we show that, for this type of task, an affective strategy is highly inefficient. We attribute these results to the affective reactions associated with the staying option, with regret avoidance associated with the switch option, and the conditional probability construction of the dilemma.
... A relatively high comorbidity of gambling problems and mental health issues has also been determined in adult populations (Cunningham-Williams, Cottler, Compton, & Spitznagel, 1998;Lorains, Cowlishaw, & Thomas, 2011). Various studies (e. g., Cheung, 2011;Mishra et al., 2016;Potenza et al., 2001) have also discovered that many different forms of antisocial and risk-taking behaviours, including problem gambling, crime and substance use, seem to co-occur. Martin, Macdonald, and Ishiguro (2013) indicated that, among those gamblers in treatment for gambling problems or cocaine addiction, the prevalence of criminal convictions was higher than that among those persons in treatment for tobacco addiction. ...
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Previous studies have suggested strongly that early engagement in gambling anticipates severe gambling problems. Problem gambling and gambling addiction are linked to financial difficulties, depression and weakened life control. One social consequence of excessive gambling is property crime. In this study, we analyze screening data (N = 1573) from a problem gambling self-help program to locate predictors of such criminal behaviour. We applied logistic regression to determine the relationship between problem gambling and both reported cheating and stealing. Our objective was to create an empirically-based model of the different risk factors related to such criminogenic gambling. Our models suggest that self-reported gambling-related cheating and stealing is related to young age, low education, low income, a high rate of depression, a long history of problem gambling, and negative subjective perception of one's financial situation. Résumé Des études antérieures ont confirmé qu'une participation précoce à des jeux d'argent prédit de graves problèmes de jeu. Le jeu compulsif et la dépendance au jeu sont liés aux difficultés financières, à la dépression et à un faible contrôle sur la vie. Une con-séquence sociale du jeu excessif est la criminalité contre les biens. Dans cette étude, nous analysons les données de dépistage (N = 1573) d'un programme d'auto-assistance sur le jeu problématique pour trouver des prédicateurs d'un tel comportement criminel. Nous avons appliqué la régression logistique pour déterminer la relation entre le jeu problématique et la tricherie et le vol rapportés. Notre objectif était de créer un modèle empirique des différents facteurs de risque liés à ces jeux criminogènes. Nos modèles suggèrent que la tricherie et le vol autodéclarés attribuables au jeu sont liés au jeune âge, à un faible niveau de scolarité, à un faible revenu, à un taux élevé de dépression,
... Anufriev and Panchenko (2009) modeled a market with fundamentalists and trend-following agents, assuming that all agents were risk averse. However, though psychological studies have shown that some people are risk seeking rather than risk-averse (Cheung & Mikels, 2011;Nicholson, Soane, Fenton-O'Creevy, & Willman, 2005), Anufriev and Panchenko (2009) did not take such individual differences into account. ...
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Consumers’ engagement in morally-questionable behaviors poses a serious threat to firms. To further the understanding of consumers’ behavior, this study explores the association and conflicts between their ethical and legal judgments. In addition, it examines the way consumers’ judgments depend on their mind-sets and the legal liability criterion of action (activity). In two experiments, participants were asked to judge the ethicality and legality of consumers’ morally-questionable behaviors. Behavior activity and participants’ mind-sets were manipulated. The results show that consumers are more likely to judge a behavior to be legal when they consider it ethical than when they consider it unethical. Nevertheless, conflicts between ethical and legal judgments are prevalent. Furthermore, ethical judgments, legal judgments, and the occurrence of conflicts between them depend on activity and on consumers’ mind-sets. Finally, consumers report uncertainty about the ethicality and legality of a wide range of morally-questionable behaviors. Thus, the results paint a picture of individuals who perceive the law to be often beyond their reach or in conflict with their ethical principles. They portray both ethical and legal judgments as dynamically-changing, subjective, and context-dependent. Theoretical contribution and business applications are discussed.
... This superstition is so externalized and plays a role in nudging the inferential reasoning of the clients of those establishments: the clients who are superstitious and occupy those floor or room do not feel unlucky. The feeling of being lucky or unlucky affects the behavior and reasoning of those individuals, who are even more inclined to fall in cognitive biases (for instance, gambler's fallacy, confirmation bias, attentional bias) that, in turn, enhance those feelings (Jiang et al. 2009;Cheung and Mikels 2011). The choice of omitting the "unlucky" number is a modification of the cognitive niche provided by the hotel and motel that, even if it is based on a false assumption (that a number brings luck or bad luck), influences the decisions and behaviors of those who stay there. ...
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Ignorance is easily representable as a cognitive property of more than just individual subjects: groups, crowds, and even populations can share the same ignorance regarding particular concepts and ideas. Nevertheless, according to some theories that refer to the extension, distribution, and situatedness of human cognition, ignorance is hardly a state that can be extended, distributed, and situated in the same way in which knowledge is in our eco-cognitive environment. In order to understand how these contradictory takes can come across in a coherent description of ignorance, in this paper I aim at analyzing the impact of the agent’s ignorance in her ecological and cognitive environment, as well as the effect that the surrounding context has on the agent’s epistemological successes and downfalls. To this end I will adopt the cognitive and empirically sensitive perspectives of the distributed cognition, the extended mind and cognitive niches construction theories, which will help me address and answer three topical questions: (a) adopting the theories about the extended mind, the distributed cognition, and the cognitive significance of affordances can we describe ignorance as extended and distributed in spaces, artifacts, and other people? (b) extending or distributing ignorance in one’s eco-cognitive environment has the same cognitive and ecological impact of extending or distributing knowledge? (c) can we recognize instantiations of externalized or distributed ignorance? I will argue that by acknowledging the extended, distributed, and situated dimension of ignorance in cognitive niches we could recognize the impact that our ignorance and uncertainty has on how we manipulate and organize our environment and also how our eco-cognitive frameworks affect the perception of our epistemological states.
... However, the tendency to overestimate the chances of success based on the saliency of success stories is a classic case of survivorship bias. 19 This is exacerbated by our tendency to make more risky choices when we feel positive [33] (see also [67]). It might be socially beneficial that many of us attempt to achieve something in which a tiny fraction succeeds, but no such similar strategy serves us if we think how to guide society itself. ...
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The ongoing conversation on AI ethics and politics is in full swing and has spread to the general public. Rather than contributing by engaging with the issues and views discussed, we want to step back and comment on the widening conversation itself. We consider evolved human cognitive tendencies and biases, and how they frame and hinder the conversation on AI ethics. Primarily, we describe our innate human capacities known as folk theories and how we apply them to phenomena of different implicit categories. Through examples and empirical findings, we show that such tendencies specifically affect the key issues discussed in AI ethics. The central claim is that much of our mostly opaque intuitive thinking has not evolved to match the nature of AI, and this causes problems in democratizing AI ethics and politics. Developing awareness of how our intuitive thinking affects our more explicit views will add to the quality of the conversation.
... It tends to be a situationally-induced ascription, hence a less portentous and more fleeting construct than a chronic individual belief or trait (Darke & Freedman, 1997a). Previous research has examined the feeling of luck in the contexts of superstition (Hamerman & Morewedge, 2015), illusion of control (Darke & Freedman, 1997b;Valenzuela et al., 2010), risk-sharing (Kulow, Kramer, & Bentley, 2021), and risk-taking in financial and purchase decisions (Cheung & Mikels, 2011;Jiang, Cho, & Adava, 2009). For instance, consumers who consider themselves lucky are more willing to choose a lucky draw than other promotion methods (Prendergast & Thompson, 2008), and are more likely to increase overall spending in the store (Hock et al., 2020). ...
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The present research investigates how consumers respond to alternate premium promotion framings that have equal value (e.g., “buy a flash drive and get a free earphone” vs. “buy an earphone and get a free flash drive”). We show that the counterintuitive framing of the target (vs. non-target) product as a free gift makes consumers feel lucky, which in turn increases their purchase intention for the product bundle. We further show the effects of two moderators—salience of targeting and promotion magnitude, such that the main effect is mitigated when the marketer’s targeting efforts are salient for consumers and when the target product is price discounted but not free. Four studies (i.e., a lab study, two online experiments, and a field experiment involving actual purchases of the promoted products) for a range of products and services across two countries provide converging evidence supporting the hypotheses. The findings contribute to the literatures on bundle framing effects, pricing, and luck research in marketing, and have practical implications on designing more effective promotions for both online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
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When making decisions, people typically draw on two general modes of thought: intuition and reason. Age-related changes in cognition and emotion may impact these decision processes: Although older individuals experience declines in deliberative processes, they experience stability or improvement in their emotional processes. Recent research has shown that when older adults rely more on their intact emotional abilities versus their declining deliberative faculties, the quality of their decisions is significantly improved. But how would older adults fare under circumstances in which intuitive/affective processes lead to nonoptimal decisions? The ratio bias paradigm embodies just such a circumstance, offering individuals a chance to win money by drawing, say, a red jellybean from one of two dishes containing red and white jellybeans. People will often choose to draw from a dish with a greater absolute number of winners (nine red beans and 91 white beans; 9%) than a dish with a greater probability of winning (one red bean and nine white beans; 10%) due to a strong emotional pull toward the greater number. We examined whether older adults (N = 30) would make more nonoptimal decisions on the ratio bias task than young adults (N = 30). We found that older adults did make more nonoptimal choices than their younger counterparts and that positive affect was associated with nonoptimal choices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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Previous studies demonstrated that executive functions are crucial for advantageous decision making under risk and that therefore decision making is disrupted when working memory capacity is demanded while working on a decision task. While some studies also showed that emotions can affect decision making under risk, it is unclear how affective processing and executive functions predict decision-making performance in interaction. The current experimental study used a between-subjects design to examine whether affective pictures (positive and negative pictures compared to neutral pictures), included in a parallel executive task (working memory 2-back task), have an impact on decision making under risk as assessed by the Game of Dice Task (GDT). Moreover, the performance GDT plus 2-back task was compared to the performance in the GDT without any additional task (GDT solely). The results show that the performance in the GDT differed between groups (positive, negative, neutral, and GDT solely). The groups with affective pictures, especially those with positive pictures in the 2-back task, showed more disadvantageous decisions in the GDT than the groups with neutral pictures and the group performing the GDT without any additional task. However, executive functions moderated the effect of the affective pictures. Regardless of affective influence, subjects with good executive functions performed advantageously in the GDT. These findings support the assumption that executive functions and emotional processing interact in predicting decision making under risk.
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This study focuses on sources of youth decision-making and examines paths through which these factors may affect delinquent behavior. Using longitudinal Add Health data, we explore the mediating mechanisms linking several antecedents of decision-making, thoughtfully reflective decision-making (TRDM), and crime. We find that various adverse factors (i.e., family and school stressful conditions, depression, sleep problems) reduce the ability of adolescents to be thoughtful and reflective, which leads to higher levels of criminal behavior. By contrast, involvement in conventional activities (i.e., hobbies, religious activities) is found to foster TRDM, which reduces delinquency. Our study calls for an integration of perspectives in criminology, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience to better explain the relationship between decision-making and crime. Policy implications are discussed.
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Trait positive urgency is characterised by risky and maladaptive actions in response to extreme positive affective states. Positive urgency has previously been shown to be a risk factor for alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems; however, there has been limited experimental research examining how positive urgency may moderate relations between affective states and alcohol consumption. In the current study, a sample of 106 participants completed a trait measure of positive urgency and were then randomly assigned to one of three mood induction conditions: a high-activation positive, a low-activation positive or a neutral mood condition. Subsequently, participants took part in a bogus beer taste test, where their alcohol consumption was subsequently measured. The results revealed that positive urgency significantly predicted increased beer consumption, but only for those participants in the high-activation positive mood induction group. The findings from this study provide support for positive urgency as a risk factor for alcohol use and suggest that it may be of particular relevance in social situations where individuals experience highly activated positive affective states. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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Little research has examined how gain- and loss-framed options influence participants’ affective states. In the current paper, we present two studies that measure affective responses to framed options to identify a potential mediator of the relation between frame and choice. We found that participants reported more positive responses after reading gain-framed options that presented a certain outcome compared to loss-framed options that presented a certain outcome, consistent with the choice patterns of the framing effect. We also found that framing effects were mediated by affective evaluation of the options. We suggest future researchers continue to assess the influence of affective response on evaluating options and making decisions.
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Risk-aversion and rationality have both been highlighted as core features of decision making in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This study tested whether risk-aversion is related to rational decision-making in ASD individuals. ASD and matched control adults completed a decision-making task that discriminated between the use of risk-averse and rational strategies. Results showed that overall, ASD participants were more risk-averse than control participants. Specifically, both groups made similar choices when risk-aversion was the less rational strategy but ASD participants chose more rational options than control participants when risk-aversion was the most rational strategy. This study confirmed that risk-aversion is a core feature of ASD and revealed that ASD individuals can switch their decision-making strategy adaptively to avoid negative consequences.
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Over the past 30 years, researchers have shown that human choices are highly sensitive to the ways in which alternatives are presented. For example, when individuals face a choice between a sure and a risky option, their willingness to take risks varies depending on whether the alternatives are framed in terms of gain or loss. The current major hypothesis that explains such a framing effect predicts that compared with an equivalent risky option, sure gains are emotionally attractive and sure losses are emotionally aversive. Using a behavioural paradigm, the main objective of the current study was to experimentally observe the extent to which the emotional attraction to sure gains and aversion to sure losses are at the core of framing susceptibility. First, our results showed that, as the literature suggests, the emotional attraction to sure gains and aversion to sure losses underpin the framing effect. Second, our results showed that methodological factors moderated the role of these emotional mechanisms in the framing effect. Implications and directions for future studies are discussed.
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The emotional experience can have different effects on the performance of college emerging adults in risky, moral and empathic contexts decision making. The objective was to compare the performance in risk taking, dishonesty and theory of mind in college emerging adults under different dimensional and discrete emotional states. A sample of 153 students from 18 to 26 years old performed the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test, the Dots Task and the Balloon Analogue Risk Task after being exposed to emotions-inducing film clips. The risky and moral decision making was worse under emotional states of sadness and fear, respectively. In addition, greater difficulties in emotional regulation were associated with a worse performance in theory of mind. These results imply an initial contribution to the knowledge of emotion-cognition interactions, relevant aspects for the application of intervention policies in the college student community
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Background Alcohol misuse continues to be a significant public health problem. Understanding the factors that may contribute to the harmful progression in drinking is an important aspect of public health. Previous research has shown that affect regulation is associated with problematic alcohol use. Additionally, emotion instability has been found as a predictor of alcohol‐related problems and may be linked to reinforcement mechanisms. Methods The current study examined positive mood, negative mood, and mood instability in real time across drinking and nondrinking days utilizing ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Current drinkers (n = 74) were recruited for a 21‐day EMA study. Participants completed up to 10 random assessments of positive mood, negative mood, and alcohol use per day. Mood instability was assessed as the squared difference in current mood from mood in the previous assessment. Data were analyzed using piecewise multilevel regression to examine mood trajectories across drinking and nondrinking days. Results Positive emotion across the day was higher on drinking days than nondrinking days and continued to increase after drinking initiation. In contrast, negative emotion across the day was lower on drinking days than nondrinking days and continued to decrease after drinking initiation. Emotional functioning was stable across the day on nondrinking days. However, on drinking days there was a steady increase in emotional instability leading up to drinking initiation, followed by a rapid stabilization after initiation. Conclusions This study highlights the potentially reinforcing impact of alcohol via emotional stability. Overall, these findings highlight the importance of mood dynamics when examining the reinforcing effects of alcohol consumption.
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Deliberative decision strategies have historically been considered the surest path to sound decisions; however, recent evidence and theory suggest that affective strategies may be equally as effective. In four experiments we examined conditions under which affective versus deliberative decision strategies might result in higher decision quality. While consciously focusing on feelings versus details, participants made choices that varied in complexity, in extent of subsequent conscious deliberation allowed, and in domain. Results indicate that focusing on feelings versus details led to superior objective and subjective decision quality for complex decisions. However, when using a feeling-focused approach, subsequent deliberation after encoding resulted in reduced choice quality. These results suggest that affective decision strategies may be more effective relative to deliberative strategies for certain complex decisions.
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Framing effects are said to indicate irrationality in decision making because they illustrate that linguistically different descriptions of equivalent options lead to inconsistent choices. A review of the literature on the effects of adding, or subtracting, implicated complements of the sure option shows that this leads to a classic framing effect, a reversal of the classic effect, or no framing effect. Thus, the assumption of equivalence of formulations is not justified. In addition we provide a test of two major, but opposing theories on framing, prospect theory and fuzzy-trace theory. Based on an online study we investigated the effects of subtracting complements of the risky option. The results are more consistent with fuzzy-trace theory than with prospect theory. The consequences of these findings for the application of formal models like prospect theory, and for rationality, are discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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A recent study demonstrated that individuals making experience-based choices underweight small probabilities, in contrast to the overweighting observed in a typical descriptive paradigm. We tested whether trial-by-trial feedback in a repeated descriptive paradigm would engender choices more correspondent with experiential or descriptive paradigms. The results of a repeated gambling task indicated that individuals receiving feedback underweighted small probabilities, relative to their no-feedback counterparts. These results implicate feedback as a critical component during the decision-making process, even in the presence of fully specified descriptive information. A model comparison at the individual-subject level suggested that feedback drove individuals' decision weights toward objective probability weighting.
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Human choices are remarkably susceptible to the manner in which options are presented. This so-called “framing effect” represents a striking violation of standard economic accounts of human rationality, although its underlying neurobiology is not understood. We found that the framing effect was specifically associated with amygdala activity, suggesting a key role for an emotional system in mediating decision biases. Moreover, across individuals, orbital and medial prefrontal cortex activity predicted a reduced susceptibility to the framing effect. This finding highlights the importance of incorporating emotional processes within models of human choice and suggests how the brain may modulate the effect of these biasing influences to approximate rationality.
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Crime, smoking, drug use, alcoholism, reckless driving, and many other unhealthy patterns of behavior that play out over a lifetime often debut during adolescence. Avoiding risks or buying time can set a different lifetime pattern. Changing unhealthy behaviors in adolescence would have a broad impact on society, reducing the burdens of disease, injury, human suffering, and associated economic costs. Any program designed to prevent or change such risky behaviors should be founded on a clear idea of what is normative (what behaviors, ideally, should the program foster?), descriptive (how are adolescents making decisions in the absence of the program?), and prescriptive (which practices can realistically move adolescent decisions closer to the normative ideal?). Normatively, decision processes should be evaluated for coherence (is the thinking process nonsensical, illogical, or self-contradictory?) and correspondence (are the out-comes of the decisions positive?). Behaviors that promote positive physical and mental health outcomes in modern society can be at odds with those selected for by evolution (e.g., early procreation). Healthy behaviors may also conflict with a decision maker's goals. Adolescents' goals are more likely to maximize immediate pleasure, and strict decision analysis implies that many kinds of unhealthy behavior, such as drinking and drug use, could be deemed rational. However, based on data showing developmental changes in goals, it is important for policy to promote positive long-term outcomes rather than adolescents' short-term goals. Developmental data also suggest that greater risk aversion is generally adaptive, and that decision processes that support this aversion are more advanced than those that support risk taking. A key question is whether adolescents are developmentally competent to make decisions about risks. In principle, barring temptations with high rewards and individual differences that reduce self-control (i.e., under ideal conditions), adolescents are capable of rational decision making to achieve their goals. In practice, much depends on the particular situation in which a decision is made. In the heat of passion, in the presence of peers, on the spur of the moment, in unfamiliar situations, when trading off risks and benefits favors bad long-term outcomes, and when behavioral inhibition is required for good outcomes, adolescents are likely to reason more poorly than adults do. Brain maturation in adolescence is incomplete. Impulsivity, sensation seeking, thrill seeking, depression, and other individual differences also contribute to risk taking that resists standard risk-reduction interventions, although some conditions such as depression can be effectively treated with other approaches. Major explanatory models of risky decision making can be roughly divided into (a) those, including health-belief models and the theory of planned behavior, that adhere to a "rational" behavioral decision-making framework that stresses deliberate, quantitative trading off of risks and benefits; and (b) those that emphasize nondeliberative reaction to the perceived gists or prototypes in the immediate decision environment. (A gist is a fuzzy mental representation of the general meaning of information or experience; a prototype is a mental representation of a standard or typical example of a category.) Although perceived risks and especially benefits predict behavioral intentions and risk-taking behavior, behavioral willingness is an even better predictor of susceptibility to risk taking - and has unique explanatory power - because adolescents are willing to do riskier things than they either intend or expect to do. Dual-process models, such as the prototype/willingness model and fuzzy-trace theory, identify two divergent paths to risk taking: a reasoned and a reactive route. Such models explain apparent contradictions in the literature, including different causes of risk taking for different individuals. Interventions to reduce risk taking must take into account the different causes of such behavior if they are to be effective. Longitudinal and experimental research are needed to disentangle opposing causal processes - particularly, those that produce positive versus negative relations between risk perceptions and behaviors. Counterintuitive findings that must be accommodated by any adequate theory of risk taking include the following: (a) Despite conventional wisdom, adolescents do not perceive themselves to be invulnerable, and perceived vulnerability declines with increasing age; (b) although the object of many interventions is to enhance the accuracy of risk perceptions, adolescents typically overestimate important risks, such as HIV and lung cancer; (c) despite increasing competence in reasoning, some biases in judgment and decision making grow with age, producing more " irrational" violations of coherence among adults than among adolescents and younger children. The latter occurs because of a known developmental increase in gist processing with age. One implication of these findings is that traditional interventions stressing accurate risk perceptions are apt to be ineffective or backfire because young people already feel vulnerable and overestimate their risk. In addition, research shows that experience is not a good teacher for children and younger adolescents, because they tend to learn little from negative outcomes (favoring the use of effective deterrents, such as monitoring and supervision), although learning from experience improves considerably with age. Experience in the absence of negative consequences may increase feelings of invulnerability and thus explain the decrease in risk perceptions from early to late adolescence, as exploration increases. Finally, novel interventions that discourage deliberate weighing of risks and benefits by adolescents may ultimately prove more effective and enduring. Mature adults apparently resist taking risks not out of any conscious deliberation or choice, but because they intuitively grasp the gists of risky situations, retrieve appropriate risk-avoidant values, and never proceed down the slippery slope of actually contemplating tradeoffs between risks and benefits.
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Drawing on an appraisal-tendency framework (J. S. Lerner & D. Keltner, 2000), the authors predicted and found that fear and anger have opposite effects on risk perception. Whereas fearful people expressed pessimistic risk estimates and risk-averse choices, angry people expressed optimistic risk estimates and risk-seeking choices. These opposing patterns emerged for naturally occurring and experimentally induced fear and anger. Moreover, estimates of angry people more closely resembled those of happy people than those of fearful people. Consistent with predictions, appraisal tendencies accounted for these effects: Appraisals of certainty and control moderated and (in the case of control) mediated the emotion effects. As a complement to studies that link affective valence to judgment outcomes, the present studies highlight multiple benefits of studying specific emotions.
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Analysis of decision making under risk has been dominated by expected utility theory, which generally accounts for people's actions. Presents a critique of expected utility theory as a descriptive model of decision making under risk, and argues that common forms of utility theory are not adequate, and proposes an alternative theory of choice under risk called prospect theory. In expected utility theory, utilities of outcomes are weighted by their probabilities. Considers results of responses to various hypothetical decision situations under risk and shows results that violate the tenets of expected utility theory. People overweight outcomes considered certain, relative to outcomes that are merely probable, a situation called the "certainty effect." This effect contributes to risk aversion in choices involving sure gains, and to risk seeking in choices involving sure losses. In choices where gains are replaced by losses, the pattern is called the "reflection effect." People discard components shared by all prospects under consideration, a tendency called the "isolation effect." Also shows that in choice situations, preferences may be altered by different representations of probabilities. Develops an alternative theory of individual decision making under risk, called prospect theory, developed for simple prospects with monetary outcomes and stated probabilities, in which value is given to gains and losses (i.e., changes in wealth or welfare) rather than to final assets, and probabilities are replaced by decision weights. The theory has two phases. The editing phase organizes and reformulates the options to simplify later evaluation and choice. The edited prospects are evaluated and the highest value prospect chosen. Discusses and models this theory, and offers directions for extending prospect theory are offered. (TNM)
The affect heuristic Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment
  • P Slovic
  • M Finucane
  • E Peters
  • D G Macgregor
Slovic, P., Finucane, M., Peters, E., & MacGregor, D. G. (2002). The affect heuristic. In T. Gilovich, D. Griffin, & D. Kahneman (Eds.), Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment (pp. 397– 420). New York: Cambridge University Press.