The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is widely used in investigations of decision making. A growing number of studies have linked performance on this task to personality differences, with the aim of explaining the large degree of variability in healthy individuals' performance of the task. However, this line of research has yielded inconsistent results. In the present study, we tested whether increasing the conflict between short-term and long-term gains in the IGT can clarify personality-related modulations of decision making. We assessed performance on the original IGT as a function of the personality traits typically involved in risky decision making (i.e., impulsivity, sensation seeking, sensitivity to reward and punishment). The impact of these same personality traits was also evaluated on a modified version of the task in which the difference in immediate reward magnitude between disadvantageous and advantageous decks was increased, while keeping the net gain fixed. The results showed that only in this latter IGT variant were highly impulsive individuals and high sensation seekers lured into making disadvantageous choices. The opposite seems to be the case for participants who were highly sensitive to punishment, although further data are needed to corroborate this finding. The present preliminary results suggest that the IGT variant used in this study could be more effective than the original task at identifying personality effects in decision making. Implications for dispositional and situational effects on decision making are discussed.

Individual Differences and Decision Making: When the Lure Effect of Gain Is a Matter of Size

PENOLAZZI, Barbara;
2013

Abstract

The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is widely used in investigations of decision making. A growing number of studies have linked performance on this task to personality differences, with the aim of explaining the large degree of variability in healthy individuals' performance of the task. However, this line of research has yielded inconsistent results. In the present study, we tested whether increasing the conflict between short-term and long-term gains in the IGT can clarify personality-related modulations of decision making. We assessed performance on the original IGT as a function of the personality traits typically involved in risky decision making (i.e., impulsivity, sensation seeking, sensitivity to reward and punishment). The impact of these same personality traits was also evaluated on a modified version of the task in which the difference in immediate reward magnitude between disadvantageous and advantageous decks was increased, while keeping the net gain fixed. The results showed that only in this latter IGT variant were highly impulsive individuals and high sensation seekers lured into making disadvantageous choices. The opposite seems to be the case for participants who were highly sensitive to punishment, although further data are needed to corroborate this finding. The present preliminary results suggest that the IGT variant used in this study could be more effective than the original task at identifying personality effects in decision making. Implications for dispositional and situational effects on decision making are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2845746
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