Psychology Night Research Posters and Presentations

Faculty Sponsor, if applicable

Joseph A. Mikels

Project Abstract

"Research suggests that affect plays a unique role in determining risk taking. The Affect Heuristic suggests that positive affect leads to perceptions of greater benefits and lower risks, whereas negative affect leads to perceptions of lower benefits and greater risks (Slovic, Finucane, Peters, & MacGregor, 2007). We examined the role of affective fluctuations as a unique factor that influences risky decision-making within the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART; Lejuez et al., 2002). The results of the study confirm the Affect Heuristic: affect predicted risk-taking. Specifically, more positive affect led to greater risk-taking. Importantly, affective fluctuations were a unique predictor of risk-taking beyond affect itself. Greater affective fluctuation led to greater risk-taking. This suggests that although affective valence is an important factor that influences risk-taking, the fluctuation in affect over time is unique information that guides decision processes."

Type of Research

Undergraduate Student - Independent Study


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Presentation Year

May 2019