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A direct and conceptual replication of post-loss speeding when gambling

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

To investigate the response to suboptimal outcomes, Verbuggen et al. (Verbruggen F, Chambers CD, Lawrence NS, McLaren IPL. 2017 Winning and losing: effects on impulsive action. J. Exp. Psychol.: Hum. Percept. Perform.43, 147. (doi:10.1037/xhp0000284)) conducted a study in which participants chose between a gamble and a non-gamble option. The non-gamble option was a guaranteed amount of points, whereas the gamble option was associated with a higher amount but a lower probability of winning. The authors observed that participants initiated the next trial faster after a loss compared to wins or non-gambles. In the present study, we directly replicated these findings in the laboratory and online. We also designed another task controlling for the number of trials per outcome. In this task, participants guessed where a reward was hidden. They won points if they selected the correct location, but lost points if they selected the incorrect location. We included neutral trials as a baseline. Again, participants sped up after a loss relative to wins and neutral trials (but only with a response choice in neutral trials and a large sample size). These findings appear inconsistent with cognitive-control frameworks, which assume that suboptimal outcomes typically lead to slower responses; instead, they suggest that suboptimal outcomes can invigorate behaviour, consistent with accounts of frustrative non-reward and impulsive action.
ISSN: 2054-5703
Issue: 5
Volume: 7