Framing Alters Risk-Taking Behavior on a Modified Balloon Analogue Risk Task (Bart) in a Sex-Specific Manner

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Framing uncertain scenarios to emphasize potential positive or negative elements influences decision making and behavior. The current experiment investigated sex differences in framing effects on risk-taking propensity in a modified version of the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART). Male and female undergraduates completed questionnaires on sensation seeking, impulsiveness, and risk and benefit perception prior to viewing one of three framing conditions for the BART: (1) positively-framed instructions emphasizing the ability to earn money if balloons were inflated to large size; (2) negatively framed instructions emphasizing the possibility that money could be lost if balloons were inflated to bursting; and (3) completely framed instructions noting both possible outcomes. Results revealed correlations between BART performance and impulsiveness for both sexes. Compared to positive and complete framing, negatively framed instructions decreased balloon inflation time in women but not men, indicating sex differences in response to treatments designed to alter risk-taking behavior.


This article was originally published in Psychological Reports. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Psychological Reports


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