How does response inhibition influence decision making when gambling?


Recent research suggests that response inhibition training can alter impulsive and compulsive behavior. When stop signals are introduced in a gambling task, people not only become more cautious when executing their choice responses, they also prefer lower bets when gambling. Here, we examined how stopping motor responses influences gambling.

Experiment 1 showed that the reduced betting in stop-signal blocks was not caused by changes in information sampling styles or changes in arousal. In Experiments 2a and 2b, people preferred lower bets when they occasionally had to stop their response in a secondary decision-making task but not when they were instructed to respond as accurately as possible. Experiment 3 showed that merely introducing trials on which subjects could not gamble did not influence gambling preferences. Experiment 4 demonstrated that the effect of stopping on gambling generalized to different populations. Further, 2 combined analyses suggested that the effect of stopping on gambling preferences was reliable but small. Finally, Experiment 5 showed that the effect of stopping on gambling generalized to a different task. On the basis of our findings and earlier research, we propose that the presence of stop signals influences gambling by reducing approach behavior and altering the motivational value of the gambling outcome. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

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