Physiological Plausibility and Boundary Conditions of Theories of Risk Sensitivity

Davide Marchiori , Shira Elqayam

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The contribution by Yechiam and Telpaz (Y&T) published in Frontiers in Cognitive Science places it in a corpus of literature which bridges at least three different disciplines, i.e., psychology, economics, and neuroscience. The goal of this line of research is to explore the neurological and physiological underpinnings of one of the central topics in judgment and decision-making (JDM) research – choice behavior in decisions from experience. Y&T successfully contributes to this goal by demonstrating a novel effect that losses increase experimental participants’ arousal as measured by pupil dilatation, which in turn positively correlates with a risk aversion behavior. They hypothesize that participants’ attention is increased in decision problems involving losses, which trigger an innate prudent behavior in situations entailing danger and/or hazard. Interestingly, Y&T find that the nature of attention is not selective, i.e., when losses are present, participants are shown to devote more attention to the task as a whole rather than to the single negative outcomes, in contrast to Prospect Theory's loss aversion.
TidsskriftFrontiers in Psychology
Antal sider2
StatusUdgivet - 2012

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