The Iowa Gamb ling Task (IGT) is widely used to assess the role of emotion in decision making. However, there is only indirect evidence to support that the task measures emotion. There are inconsistencies in performance within in healthy populations who display risk tak ing traits. Two hundred and fifty participants were assessed for psychopathy, sensation seeking, and impulsiveness. The IGT was compared with modified versions that directly manipulated emotion within in the task by indexing reward and punishment cards wit h images varying in emotional content. Participants continued to learn to avoid risky decks in all versions of the IGT. The manipulation of emotional content within the task did affect performance: fearful images contributed to greater risky deck selection s. Across the tasks, psychopathy showed the strongest relationship to risky deck selections, and lower levels of psychopathy was associated decreased risky deck selections. However, psychopathy did not affect learning in the modified versions. Exploratory analysis on image valance found that negative images (compared to neutral) benefited learning for individuals with higher levels of psychopathy. Discussion will center on the benefits of manipulating emotion directly within the task as a means to assess th e validity of the IGT.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Iowa Gambling Task, decision making, risk taking, impulsivity, sensation seeking, impulsiveness
Publisher Department of Cognitive Science
Series Cognitive Science Technical Report Series
Humeny, Courtney. (2016). Risk taking personality traits on affect processing during modified versions of the Iowa Gambling Task. Technical Report 2016-02. Cognitive Science Technical Report Series. Department of Cognitive Science.