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The impact of disappointment in decision making: inter-individual differences and electrical neuroimaging

Tzieropoulos, Hélène and de Peralta, Rolando Grave and Bossaerts, Peter and Andino, Sara L. Gonzalez (2011) The impact of disappointment in decision making: inter-individual differences and electrical neuroimaging. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 4 . Art. No. 235. ISSN 1662-5161.

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Disappointment, the emotion experienced when faced to reward prediction errors (RPEs), considerably impacts decision making (DM). Individuals tend to modify their behavior in an often unpredictable way just to avoid experiencing negative emotions. Despite its importance, disappointment remains much less studied than regret and its impact on upcoming decisions largely unexplored. Here, we adapted the Trust Game to effectively elicit, quantify, and isolate disappointment by relying on the formal definition provided by Bell’s in economics. We evaluated the effects of experienced disappointment and elation on future cooperation and trust as well as the rationality and utility of the different behavioral and neural mechanisms used to cope with disappointment. All participants in our game trusted less and particularly expected less from unknown opponents as a result of disappointing outcomes in the previous trial but not necessarily after elation indicating that behavioral consequences of positive and negative RPEs are not the same. A large variance in the tolerance to disappointment was observed across subjects, with some participants needing only a small disappointment to impulsively bias their subsequent decisions. As revealed by high-density EEG recordings the most tolerant individuals – who thought twice before making a decision and earned more money – relied on different neural generators to contend with neutral and unexpected outcomes. This study thus provides some support to the idea that different neural systems underlie reflexive and reflective decisions within the same individuals as predicted by the dual-system theory of social judgment and DM.

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Bossaerts, Peter0000-0003-2308-2603
Additional Information:© 2011 Tzieropoulos, Grave de Peralta, Bossaerts and Gonzalez Andino. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and the Frontiers Research Foundation, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited. Received: 11 June 2010; accepted: 16 December 2010; published online: 06 January 2011. Edited by: Francisco Barcelo, University of Illes Balears, Spain. Reviewed by: Juliana Yordanova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria Manuel Garcia-Garcia, University of Barcelona, Spain.
Subject Keywords:disappointment; decision making; reward prediction error; EEG; dual system; inter-individual differences
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110502-141359213
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Official Citation:Tzieropoulos H, Grave de Peralta R, Bossaerts P and Gonzalez Andino SL (2011) The impact of disappointment in decision making: inter-individual differences and electrical neuroimaging. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 4:235. doi: 10.3389/ fnhum.2010.00235
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23527
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 May 2011 23:15
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:47

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