DataSheet_1_Loss Aversion and Risk Aversion in Non-Clinical Negative Symptoms and Hypomania.pdf
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In the field of behavioral decision-making, “loss aversion” is a behavioral phenomenon in which individuals show a higher sensitivity to potential losses than to gains. Conversely, “risk averse” individuals have an enhanced sensitivity/aversion to options with uncertain consequences. Here we examine whether hypomania or negative symptoms predict the degree of these choice biases. We chose to study these two symptom dimensions because they present a common theme across many syndromes with compromised decision-making. In our exploratory study, we employed a non-clinical sample to dissociate the hypomanic from negative symptom dimension regarding choice behavior. We randomly selected a sample of 45 subjects from a student population (18–37 years) without self-reported psychiatric diagnoses (n = 835). We stratified them based on percentiles into a low hypomania/low negative symptoms (n = 15), a hypomania (n = 15), and a negative symptoms group (n = 15) using the hypomanic personality scale (HPS-30) and community assessment of psychic experiences (CAPE). Participants completed a loss aversion task consisting of forced binary choices between a monetary gamble and a riskless choice without gain or loss. We found a reduced loss aversion in participants with higher negative symptoms. In addition, risk aversion was reduced in participants with higher hypomania and negative symptoms compared to low hypomania/negative symptoms. This study adds to the understanding of underlying psychological mechanisms of loss and risk aversion. Given the partially opposing nature of hypomania and negative symptoms, further work is needed to examine whether they affect loss and risk aversion via dissociable mechanisms.
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