We explored the utility of analyzing within- and between-balloon response patterns on a balloon analogue task (BAT) in relation to overall risk scores, and to a choice between a small guaranteed cash reward and an uncertain reward of the same expected value. Young adults (n = 61) played a BAT, and then were offered a choice between $5 in cash and betting to win $0 to $15. Between groups, pumping was differentially influenced by explosions and by the number of successive unexploded balloons, with risk takers responding increasingly on successive balloons after an explosion. Within-balloons, risk takers showed a characteristic pattern of constant high rate, while non-risk takers showed a characteristic variable lower rate. Overall, results show that the higher number of pumps and explosions that characterize risk takers at a molar level, result from particular forms of adaptation to the positive and negative outcomes of choices seen at a molecular level.Color versions of one or more of the figures in the article can be found online at www.tandfonline.com/ vgen.
- balloon analog task
- molar-molecular analyses
- probabilistic rewards
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)