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

Tzieropoulos H, de Peralta RG, Bossaerts P, Gonzalez Andino SL - Front Hum Neurosci (2011)

Bottom Line: 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.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Electrical Neuroimaging Group and Geneva Neuroscience Center, Neurology Department, University of Geneva Geneva, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
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.

No MeSH data available.


The influence of disappointment on upcoming decisions. Difference of trial n − 1 and trial n (y-axis) as a function of previous disappointment (x-axis) for one individual subject (bottom, right), and for the three variables Trustworthiness Ratings (TR), Investment (INV), and Expected Return (ER) for all subjects. Colors of the scale are proportional to the density of observations for the x, y point. Note that the distribution of values considerably deviate from the bell-shaped distribution for the largest values of disappointment (most negative values in the abscissa) to be expected if each new Trustee were assessed independently of previous outcome with a completely different Trustee. Disappointment Tolerance Threshold (DTT, the rightmost lower inset) is defined for each participant as the x-value at which the last positive change in ER is observed (y-axis) divided by the maximum disappointment experienced. For example here, the DTT of the individual subject is: −10/−22 = 0.45 or 45%.
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Figure 3: The influence of disappointment on upcoming decisions. Difference of trial n − 1 and trial n (y-axis) as a function of previous disappointment (x-axis) for one individual subject (bottom, right), and for the three variables Trustworthiness Ratings (TR), Investment (INV), and Expected Return (ER) for all subjects. Colors of the scale are proportional to the density of observations for the x, y point. Note that the distribution of values considerably deviate from the bell-shaped distribution for the largest values of disappointment (most negative values in the abscissa) to be expected if each new Trustee were assessed independently of previous outcome with a completely different Trustee. Disappointment Tolerance Threshold (DTT, the rightmost lower inset) is defined for each participant as the x-value at which the last positive change in ER is observed (y-axis) divided by the maximum disappointment experienced. For example here, the DTT of the individual subject is: −10/−22 = 0.45 or 45%.

Mentions: Figure 3 depicts the plot of the CS vs. previous disappointment for the three variables under study: TR, investments (INV), and ERs when all participants are pooled together. The plot clearly reveals a marked asymmetry in the distribution of values for the ER with respect to the x-axis (previous outcome). While for elation (positive x-axis) the distribution is approximately bell-shaped, a sort of linear trend appears for negative values in the x-axis that correspond to disappointment. In other words, stronger disappointment is followed by largest decreases in expectations about new Trustees which contradict the hypothesis of independent trials.


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

Tzieropoulos H, de Peralta RG, Bossaerts P, Gonzalez Andino SL - Front Hum Neurosci (2011)

The influence of disappointment on upcoming decisions. Difference of trial n − 1 and trial n (y-axis) as a function of previous disappointment (x-axis) for one individual subject (bottom, right), and for the three variables Trustworthiness Ratings (TR), Investment (INV), and Expected Return (ER) for all subjects. Colors of the scale are proportional to the density of observations for the x, y point. Note that the distribution of values considerably deviate from the bell-shaped distribution for the largest values of disappointment (most negative values in the abscissa) to be expected if each new Trustee were assessed independently of previous outcome with a completely different Trustee. Disappointment Tolerance Threshold (DTT, the rightmost lower inset) is defined for each participant as the x-value at which the last positive change in ER is observed (y-axis) divided by the maximum disappointment experienced. For example here, the DTT of the individual subject is: −10/−22 = 0.45 or 45%.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3020567&req=5

Figure 3: The influence of disappointment on upcoming decisions. Difference of trial n − 1 and trial n (y-axis) as a function of previous disappointment (x-axis) for one individual subject (bottom, right), and for the three variables Trustworthiness Ratings (TR), Investment (INV), and Expected Return (ER) for all subjects. Colors of the scale are proportional to the density of observations for the x, y point. Note that the distribution of values considerably deviate from the bell-shaped distribution for the largest values of disappointment (most negative values in the abscissa) to be expected if each new Trustee were assessed independently of previous outcome with a completely different Trustee. Disappointment Tolerance Threshold (DTT, the rightmost lower inset) is defined for each participant as the x-value at which the last positive change in ER is observed (y-axis) divided by the maximum disappointment experienced. For example here, the DTT of the individual subject is: −10/−22 = 0.45 or 45%.
Mentions: Figure 3 depicts the plot of the CS vs. previous disappointment for the three variables under study: TR, investments (INV), and ERs when all participants are pooled together. The plot clearly reveals a marked asymmetry in the distribution of values for the ER with respect to the x-axis (previous outcome). While for elation (positive x-axis) the distribution is approximately bell-shaped, a sort of linear trend appears for negative values in the x-axis that correspond to disappointment. In other words, stronger disappointment is followed by largest decreases in expectations about new Trustees which contradict the hypothesis of independent trials.

Bottom Line: 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.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Electrical Neuroimaging Group and Geneva Neuroscience Center, Neurology Department, University of Geneva Geneva, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
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.

No MeSH data available.