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Money does not stink: Using unpleasant odors as stimulus material changes risky decision making


von Helversen, Bettina; Coppin, Géraldine; Scheibehenne, Benjamin (2020). Money does not stink: Using unpleasant odors as stimulus material changes risky decision making. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making:2178.

Abstract

Odors are strong elicitors of affect, and they play an important role in guiding human behavior, such as avoiding fire or spoiled food. However, little is known about how risky decision making changes when stimuli are olfactory. We investigated this question in an experimental study of risky decision making with unpleasant odors and monetary losses in a fully incentivized task with real outcomes. Odor and monetary decisions were matched so that monetary losses corresponded to the amount of money participants were willing to pay to avoid smelling an odor. Hierarchical Bayesian analyses using prospect theory show that participants were less sensitive to probabilities when gambling with odors than when gambling with money. These results highlight the importance of taking the sensory modality into account when studying risky decision making.

Abstract

Odors are strong elicitors of affect, and they play an important role in guiding human behavior, such as avoiding fire or spoiled food. However, little is known about how risky decision making changes when stimuli are olfactory. We investigated this question in an experimental study of risky decision making with unpleasant odors and monetary losses in a fully incentivized task with real outcomes. Odor and monetary decisions were matched so that monetary losses corresponded to the amount of money participants were willing to pay to avoid smelling an odor. Hierarchical Bayesian analyses using prospect theory show that participants were less sensitive to probabilities when gambling with odors than when gambling with money. These results highlight the importance of taking the sensory modality into account when studying risky decision making.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Decision Sciences
Social Sciences & Humanities > Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Applied Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > Strategy and Management
Uncontrolled Keywords:Applied Psychology, Strategy and Management, Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous), General Decision Sciences, Sociology and Political Science
Language:English
Date:23 March 2020
Deposited On:24 Mar 2020 13:18
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 14:56
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0894-3257
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/bdm.2178
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P1_157432
  • : Project TitleUnderstanding the Role of Memory in Judgments and Decisions: The Influence of Exemplars

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