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Summer Clay, Alison Harris, Danielle Green, Catherine Reed; Loss Aversion affects Inhibitory Processes for Reward as Indicated by Inhibition of Return. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):95. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/16.12.95.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
This study investigates whether early orienting and inhibitory processes can be influenced by previous experience with reward or loss as well as individual differences for loss aversion. Targets following cues at delayed cue-target intervals (300-2000ms) produce slower RTs for targets appearing in the cue location compared to targets appearing in a new location—inhibition of return (IOR). IOR is well suited to investigate attention to reward and loss because it reflects an early orienting response to a particular spatial location followed by inhibitory processes that interfere with goal-directed action. Cues associated with high reward are found to enhance the IOR effect relative to neutral cues, suggesting greater inhibitory processes that interfere with task demands after orienting to a reward. Although it is an open question how cues associated with loss influence IOR, most individuals exhibit an aversion to loss outcomes (loss aversion), negatively affecting decisions by placing excessive emphasis on avoiding loss. Here we investigated whether loss aversion is related to potential costs of orienting to reward and loss cues. After training participants to associate specific cues with reward or loss, we then measured IOR in a covert-orienting paradigm. Next, participants completed a computerized risk assessment task designed to measure loss aversion (DOSE; Wang, Filiba & Camerer, 2013). Results indicated that reward, loss, & neutral cues all elicited an IOR effect but they did not differ in the size of the IOR effect. However, regression analyses revealed that individual differences in loss aversion scores were correlated with the difference in IOR between reward and neutral cues, but not the difference in IOR between loss and neutral cues. Specifically, the IOR for neutral cues were greater than for reward cues for individuals with greater loss aversion. Thus, loss aversion may be related to greater inhibitory processes after orienting to reward.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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