Should you think about death before you go to a casino?


Research on gambling, and risk taking in general, has focused primarily on approach-related motivations. The current study examined the avoidance of existential anxiety as a possible source of risky decision making and behaviour. The authors hypothesized that participants reminded of their own mortality would consequently make riskier decisions (and therefore perform more poorly) on the Iowa gambling task. Results confirmed this prediction. Implications of the finding that existential concerns undermine efficient decision making are considered.

Source: “Going for broke: Mortality salience increases risky decision making on the Iowa gambling task” from British Journal of Social Psychology

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