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Risk‐taking increases under boredom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Behavioral Decision Making
Early online date10 Nov 2019
DOIs
Accepted/In press14 Oct 2019
E-pub ahead of print10 Nov 2019

King's Authors

Abstract

We examined if boredom is associated with risk‐taking. Although this association has frequently been postulated, it has rarely been tested, and the evidence has thus far been rather indirect and speculative. We conducted three studies to test this association more systematically. In Study 1, people high in boredom proneness reported greater risk‐taking across financial, ethical, recreational, and health or safety domains. In Study 2, over a series of risky decisions, risk‐taking increased in tandem with state boredom. Consistently, in Study 3, people who felt more bored were more likely to choose risky gambles. Furthermore, while dispositional self‐control predicted lower risk‐taking, state boredom nullified this association, suggesting that elevated risk‐taking might be attributed the erosion of self‐control under boredom. Our findings establish via direct empirical tests that boredom is associated with making riskier decisions.

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