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Risk and Rationality: The Effects of Mood and Decision Rules on Probability Weighting.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2011
Author Epper Thomas, Fehr-Duda H., Bruhin A., Schubert R.,
Project Vertrauen verstehen. Grundlagen, Formen und Grenzen des Vertrauens
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Volume (Issue) 78(1-2)
Page(s) 14 - 24
Title of proceedings Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization

Open Access


Empirical research has shown that people tend to overweight small probabilities and underweight large probabilities when valuing risky prospects, but little is known about factors influencing the shape of the probability weighting curve. Based on a laboratory experiment with monetary incentives, we demonstrate that pre-existing good mood is significantly associated with women’s probability weights: Women in a better than normal mood tend to weight probabilities relatively more optimistically. Many men, however, seem to be immunized against effects of incidental mood by applying a mechanical decision criterion such as maximization of expected value.