ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (5): 789-795.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00789

• Research Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The ending effect of negative-expected value gambles: Emotional motivation induces risk taking

MENG Yuqi, XING Cai(), LIU Xinhui   

  1. Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2018-07-09 Online:2019-05-15 Published:2019-03-20
  • Contact: XING Cai


The ending effect of risky decision-making refers to the phenomenon that individuals would be more likely to take risks when a multiple-played decision-making task comes to an end. Three experiments examined the ending effect with risky decision tasks of different expected values, both in laboratory settings and in natural environment. The results showed that, the ending effect appeared in both laboratories and natural settings. Participants showed increased risk taking in the last round in both equal-expected value gambles and negative-expected value gambles. In addition, the ending effect is not moderated by the amount of tokens participants had before the last round. It appears that the ending effect is driven by the motivational need for an emotionally rewarding ending and suggests that the ending effect is reference independent. Future research on the underlying mechanism of the ending effect may benefit by focusing on affective system since it plays an important role in the ending effect.

Key words: ending effect, risky decision-making, reference independent, socioemotional selectivity theory, emotional motivation

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