The influence of positive affect on acceptable level of risk: The person with a large canoe has a large worry
A study investigated the influence of positive affect, induced by receipt of a small bag of candy, on risk preference and on thoughts about losing. Results indicated, compatibly with previous findings, an interaction between affect and level of risk: Where stakes were high, persons in whom positive affect had been induced, in comparison with those in a control group, set a higher level of probability of winning as the minimum necessary for taking the bet. Where stakes were low, persons in the positive-affect condition tended to be more risk prone (to set a lower probability level) than control subjects. Results of a thought-listing task paralleled those of the risk measure, indicating an interaction between affect condition and risk level, such that persons in the positive-affect condition contemplating a high-stakes bet, but not those considering a low-stakes bet, reported more thoughts about losing than control subjects.