
06581545
j
2016c.00886
Traczyk, Jakub
Fulawka, Kamil
Numeracy moderates the influence of taskirrelevant affect on probability weighting.
Cognition 151, 3741 (2016).
2016
Elsevier, Amsterdam
EN
K40
K50
K70
C30
C20
statistical numeracy
affect
probability weighting function
emotion
integral vs. incidental affect
doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2016.03.002
Summary: Statistical numeracy, defined as the ability to understand and process statistical and probability information, plays a significant role in superior decision making. However, recent research has demonstrated that statistical numeracy goes beyond simple comprehension of numbers and mathematical operations. On the contrary to previous studies that were focused on emotions integral to risky prospects, we hypothesized that highly numerate individuals would exhibit more linear probability weighting because they would be less biased by incidental and decisionirrelevant affect. Participants were instructed to make a series of insurance decisions preceded by negative (i.e., fearinducing) or neutral stimuli. We found that incidental negative affect increased the curvature of the probability weighting function (PWF). Interestingly, this effect was significant only for less numerate individuals, while probability weighting in more numerate people was not altered by decisionirrelevant affect. We propose two candidate mechanisms for the observed effect.