Risk and Rationality: The Effect of Incidental Mood on Probability Weighting
When valuing risky prospects, people tend to overweight small probabilities and to underweight large probabilities. Nonlinear probability weighting has proven to be a robust empirical phenomenon and has been integrated in decision models, such as cumulative prospect theory. Based on a laboratory experiment with real monetary incentives, we show that incidental emotional states, such as preexisting good mood, have a significant effect on the shape of the probability weighting function, albeit only for women. Women in a better than normal mood tend to exhibit mood-congruent behavior, i.e. they weight probabilities of gains and losses relatively more optimistically. Men’s probability weights are not responsive to mood state. We find that the application of a mechanical decision criterion, such as the maximization of expected value, immunizes men against effects of incidental emotions. 40% of the male participants indeed report applying expected values as decision criterion. Only a negligible number of women do so.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||forthcoming in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
Web page: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0703. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.