Why casinos should antagonize male customers and make sure to have clean women’s bathrooms:


If I had a casino, that’s what I’d do:

Despite considerable research on the influence of emotions on risk taking, investigators have yet to agree on an explanatory framework. Reviewing the literature, we identify problems with popular valence-based approaches. In contrast, Lerner and Keltner, 2000 and Lerner and Keltner, 2001 appraisal-tendencies theory has been supported, and usefully generates testable predictions regarding the effects of specific emotions. Nevertheless, though premised on the assumption that functional attributes differentiate emotions, this theory overlooks the ultimate goals that emotions serve. Adopting an evolutionary perspective, we predicted that, despite having similar appraisal tendencies, anger and disgust would have opposite effects on risk taking, since anger functions to deter transgression through aggression, while disgust functions to ward off contamination; an evolutionary perspective also led us to predict sex differences in these effects. Employing a gambling task involving substantial real stakes, we demonstrate that anger increases risk taking in men, while disgust decreases risk taking in women.

Source: “Angry men and disgusted women: An evolutionary approach to the influence of emotions on risk taking” from Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 95, Issue 1, September 2004, Pages 107-123

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