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Risk seeking behavior of preschool children in a gambling task

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  • Moreira, Bruno
  • Matsushita, Raul
  • Da Silva, Sergio

Abstract

A recent neurobiology study showed that monkeys systematically prefer risky targets in a visual gambling task. We set a similar experiment with preschool children to assess their attitudes toward risk and found the children, like the monkeys, to be risk seeking. This suggests that adult humans are not born risk averse, but become risk averse. Our experiment also suggests that this behavioral change may be due to learning from negative experiences in their risky choices. We also showed that though emotional states and predetermined prenatal testosterone can influence children's preferences toward risk, these factors could not override learning experiences.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 794-801

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:5:p:794-801

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Keywords: Risk Children;

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References

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  1. Bechara, Antoine & Damasio, Antonio R., 2005. "The somatic marker hypothesis: A neural theory of economic decision," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 336-372, August.
  2. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  3. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  4. Robson, Arthur J., 1996. "The Evolution of Attitudes to Risk: Lottery Tickets and Relative Wealth," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 190-207, June.
  5. Kip Smith & John Dickhaut & Kevin McCabe & José V. Pardo, 2002. "Neuronal Substrates for Choice Under Ambiguity, Risk, Gains, and Losses," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(6), pages 711-718, June.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Risk aversion is learned behavior
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-07-21 23:55:00
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Cited by:
  1. Rützler, Daniela & Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G. & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2011. "Impatience and Uncertainty: Experimental Decisions Predict Adolescents' Field Behavior," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48720, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. HASHIMOTO Hideki & ICHIMURA Hidehiko & SHIMIZUTANI Satoshi, 2013. "Stability of Preference against Aging and Health Shocks: A comparison between Japan and the United States," Discussion papers 13068, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  3. Solnais, Céline & Andreu-Perez, Javier & Sánchez-Fernández, Juan & Andréu-Abela, Jaime, 2013. "The contribution of neuroscience to consumer research: A conceptual framework and empirical review," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 68-81.
  4. A. Felipe Rodrigues & Newton Da Costa & Sergio Da Silva, 2011. "Overconfidence and excess entry: a comparison between students and managers," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2549-2557.
  5. Da Silva, Sergio & Baldo, Dinora & Matsushita, Raul, 2011. "Biological correlates of the Allais paradox - updated," MPRA Paper 32747, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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