The dissolution of temporal distance increases risk-taking: experimental evidence

Rafał Muda , Paweł Niszczota , Paweł Augustynowicz , Łukasz Markiewicz


Earlier research shows that delaying the realization of a lottery (temporal distance) increases risk tolerance. Presumably, this happens because temporal distance protects one from encountering the negative emotions produced when facing risk. However, no study has tested whether people that made a choice in the presence of temporal distance would actually change their decision later on (in the absence of temporal distance), towards the safer choice. To test this, 137 participants were subject to actual temporal distance, consisting of a four-week waiting period. To explore how each participant behaved “in the heat of the moment” (in the absence of temporal distance), we assessed their electrodermal activity and analysed self-description measures of susceptibility to affect. Participants had to choose between 40 lottery pairs (they could win up to the equivalent of about $400 US; the expected payout for each participant was about $12). Results showed that, contrary to expectations, participants tended to choose riskier lotteries after the waiting period. The results of an additional experiment suggest that this is not the result of prior exposure to the same set of lotteries, however, interestingly, an exploratory analysis showed that the main effect was driven by the behaviour of male participants. We discuss possible explanations for our surprising main finding and its implications for studies on temporal distance.
Author Rafał Muda - Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin (UMCS)
Rafał Muda,,
, Paweł Niszczota (WGM / KFM)
Paweł Niszczota,,
- Department of International Finance
, Paweł Augustynowicz
Paweł Augustynowicz,,
, Łukasz Markiewicz
Łukasz Markiewicz,,
Journal seriesScientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, (A 40 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Polishdystans czasowy, podejmowaie decyzji, skłonność do ryzyka, reakcje elektrodermalne, emocjonalność
Keywords in Englishtemporal distance, decision making, risk-taking, electrodermal activity, emotional reactivity
ASJC Classification1000 Multidisciplinary
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)40
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 40.0, 25-03-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.401; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 4.011 (2) - 2018=4.525 (5)
Citation count*1 (2020-10-13)
Additional fields
UwagiArticle number: 16565
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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