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The Mathematics Enthusiast

Volume

12

Issue

1-3

Abstract

The aim of this work was to investigate the role of the cognitive system and the affective system on adolescents’ risk taking in gambling tasks characterized as different on the basis of information given to decision makers. In Study 1, we explored the role of probabilistic reasoning and sensation seeking on decision making in a non-risky context (Non-Gambling Task) and a risky context (Gambling Task) in which no preliminary information were given to participants. Results showed that adolescents referred to probabilistic reasoning only in the Non-Gambling Task. In Study 2, we explored the role of probabilistic reasoning and sensation seeking in risky situations with preliminary information given to participants. Specifically, we compared a risky context characterized by high-emotional arousal (Game of Dice Task), in which a feedback after each decision was given, with one characterized by low-emotional arousal (Game of Dice Task – Modified version), without feedback. Probabilistic reasoning characterized adolescents’ decision making regardless of feedback. Findings showed that adolescents’ decision making was solely linked to the cognitive system in the non-risky situation, and the affective system overcomes the cognitive system in situation of risk. Moreover, providing information about the task might interfere with the imbalance between the two systems.

First Page

262

Last Page

274

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Mathematics Commons

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