Personality characteristics and state mood influence individual deck selections on the Iowa Gambling Task

Abstract

The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is commonly used to assess risky decision making in clinical and nonclinical populations, and negative mood and various personality characteristics have been shown to affect the number of advantageous and disadvantageous selections on this task. Recent research has suggested that IGT data should be analyzed at the individual deck level due to differences in frequency and magnitude of losses, and the present study examined how personality characteristics and state mood may affect deck level selections on this task. Participants were 91 undergraduate students (38 male) who completed measures of impulsivity and sensation seeking, behavioral activation and inhibition, state mood, and the computerized IGT. Results indicated that negative mood, drive, impulsivity, and sensation seeking were all positively correlated with Deck B selections, but negatively correlated with Deck D selections. No differences emerged in correlations between Decks A and B or Decks A and D. Results indicate that mood and personality characteristics differentially relate to selections from the individual decks on the IGT. Results have implications for the assessment of decision making, as personality and fluctuations in state-dependent mood could mimic pathological risk-taking if analysis is conducted on the combined decks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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