Patterns of responding on a balloon analogue task reveal individual differences in overall risk-taking: Choice between guaranteed and uncertain cash

Elias Robles-Sotelo, Noah N. Emery, Perla Vargas, Araceli Moreno, Brent Marshall, Richard C. Grove, Huateng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-227
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of General Psychology
Volume141
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2014

Keywords

  • BART
  • balloon analog task
  • choice
  • impulsivity
  • molar-molecular analyses
  • probabilistic rewards
  • risk-taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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