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Risk-seeking behavior of preschool children in a gambling task

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Moreira, Bruno & Matsushita, Raul & Da Silva, Sergio, 2008. "Risk-seeking behavior of preschool children in a gambling task," MPRA Paper 15516, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15516
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    5. 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.
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    Citations

    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 2009-07-22 04:55:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Sutter & Martin G. Kocher & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Stefan T. Trautmann, 2013. "Impatience and Uncertainty: Experimental Decisions Predict Adolescents' Field Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 510-531, February.
    2. Da Silva, Sergio & Moreira, Bruno & Da Costa Jr, Newton, 2014. "2D:4D Digit Ratio Predicts Delay of Gratification in Preschoolers," MPRA Paper 60570, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah & Deckers, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian, 2014. "How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100285, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Sergio Da Silva & Bruno Moreira & Newton Da Costa Jr, 2015. "Handedness and digit ratio predict overconfidence in cognitive and motor skill tasks in a sample of preschoolers," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(2), pages 1087-1097.
    5. 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).
    6. 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.
    7. Da Silva, Sergio & Baldo, Dinora & Matsushita, Raul, 2011. "Biological correlates of the Allais paradox - updated," MPRA Paper 32747, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. 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.
    9. Da Silva, Sergio & Matsushita, Raul & De Carvalho, Mateus, 2015. "Prosocial People Take Better Care of Their Own Future Well-Being," MPRA Paper 68452, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Da Silva, Sergio & Moreira, Bruno & Da Costa Jr, Newton, 2014. "Preschoolers and the Endowment Effect," MPRA Paper 60568, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Da Silva, Sergio & De Faveri, Dinorá & Correa, Ana & Matsushita, Raul, 2017. "Social preferences, financial literacy and intertemporal choice," MPRA Paper 79535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Da Silva, Sergio & De Faveri, Dinorá & Matsushita, Raul, 2017. "Personality influences hyperbolic discounting," MPRA Paper 83171, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk; Children;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics

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