LinkedIn PsyPost: Why were you interested in this topic?Yechiam: I guess my interest was aroused by a rather weird finding in decision science that people who are induced to have negative affect (e.g., by seeing a sad movie) tend to take more risk. To me, this was non-intuitive, as I felt that when a person is sad or upset she would tend to shy away from the possibility of getting more negative repercussions by taking additional risk — being more sensitized due to her current negative feeling.Indeed, in pain research it has been repeatedly observed that those in a negative mood avoid pain and have higher pain thresholds.What should the average person take away from your study?Turns out people do prefer to avoid frequent negative events when they are upset. So they avoid risks with frequent negative penalties. But they don’t mind being exposed to risk when it’s the kind that most of the time gives positive rewards. Therefore, negative mood does not lead to more sensitivity to the overall negative penalty but to its frequency – with frequent penalties being avoided more.This is also consistent with the findings that negative mood is sometimes associated with drug use and binging — these can be risky alternatives, but most of the time these activities provide positive rewards. Hence, these activities are not avoided by those with a negative mood.Another interesting finding of the current study concerns the well known phenomena that people are generally over-sensitive to frequent small losses. For instance, in behavioral experiments people don’t like gambling machines of the type that give a loss of $1 with 90% and a gain of $10 with 10%. Even though this machine is profitable on average, the common bad outcomes wash out the rarer positive ones. As it turns out, for individuals who report very high positive affectivity this tendency does not emerge: they are not over-sensitive to frequent negative penalty. By contrast, in individuals with low affectivity this tendency is aggravated.Are there any major caveats? What questions still need to be addressed?The findings used a laboratory study with small monetary penalties. It would be interesting to examine whether these findings also bear on people’s behavior in naturally occurring settings. For instance, do happier people explore more – and is this the result of being able to tolerate the very frequent hurdles that exploration may bring with it?The study, “Unhappiness Intensifies the Avoidance of Frequent Losses While Happiness Overcomes It“, was also co-authored by Ariel Telpaz, Stas Krupenia, and Anat Rafaeli. Share on Twitter Our level of happiness can affect our willingness to withstand frequent monetary losses, according to new research published in Frontiers in Psychology.The two-part study of 250 college students used the Iowa gambling task to uncover that unhappy individuals tended to avoid choices that resulted in frequent but minor losses. Instead, unhappy individuals tended to opt for choices that resulted in larger but rarer losses. Happier individuals, on the other hand, tended to be more willing to tolerate frequent losses if they led to positive net outcomes.PsyPost interviewed the study’s corresponding author, Eldad Yechiam of the Israel Institute of Technology. Read his responses below: Share Email Share on Facebook Pinterest
A barrister who was convicted of assault has been reprimanded following a disciplinary tribunal hearing. According to a finding published by the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service (BTAS) Amiot Vollenweider has escaped fine or suspension. The barrister however, will have to receive ’advice as to his future conduct’ from the leader of the south-eastern circuit.The BTAS finding states that the incident occurred on 14 May last year, involving behaviour likely to diminish the trust and confidence the public places in the barristers’ profession.Vollenweider, called to the bar by Gray’s Inn in October 2000, was convicted on 31 May 2018. He admitted assault by beating and was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay a surcharge of £150 and prosecution costs of £85. A barrister of the same name appears on the website of Thomas More Chambers. He is described as a ‘leading junior counsel’ who acts in complex financial remedy cases.The chambers has been contacted for comment. The tribunal’s decision is open to appeal.
Novak Djokovic says the main source of his motivation at this stage of his career is securing a lasting legacy rather than simply trying to win tennis matches and trophies.For nearly two years, from mid-2016 until mid-2018, the 32-year-old Serb had admittedly struggled with motivation after pulling off the historic feat of winning four Grand Slams in a row –- a first in men’s tennis since 1969.Djokovic recaptured his spark and has since added a quartet of majors to his overall tally, which now stands at 16.While the world number two remains in a tight battle with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the race for most Grand Slam titles won, Djokovic believes what currently drives him in the sport is something deeper than that.“You need to constantly give yourself fuel from the source, whatever the source is,” Djokovic said at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, where he secured third place with victory over Karen Khachanov on Saturday.“I think it’s always about finding that purpose, and the reason, the meaning of actually playing. For me, especially in the last couple of years, it’s not only about winning a tennis match or a trophy.“It had to be something greater than my own achievements. Something that would be related to legacy, something that would really be inspiring the lives of others, particularly kids.”Federer holds the men’s all-time record of most majors won, with 20, and Nadal is breathing down his neck with a total of 19.Djokovic is younger than both of them though, and has a shot at closing the gap on his two rivals.“That’s a goal,” said Djokovic, when asked if he is fuelled by breaking records.“I’m motivated by breaking my own records and moving my own boundaries and that”s something that motivates me to compete.“I do love to play tennis so I do like to be on the practice court. But competitive tennis is different. In order to compete to be a professional tennis player and to compete at the highest level, you really need goals, daily goals, monthly goals, yearly goals.“So I do have them, as everyone else. Of course I’m aware of the privilege that I have to fight for history and to be able to possibly achieve even greater things and that’s something that drives me of course, alongside other things.”Djokovic will begin his 2020 season by representing Serbia in the ATP Cup in Australia.He remains midway through his pre-season preparations, and leaves Abu Dhabi with one loss, to Stefanos Tsitsipas, and one win over Khachanov.“I got what I came here for, two good matches,” he said on Saturday.Later Saturday, Nadal battled past Tsitsipas 6-7(7/3), 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) in a 3hr 12min final showdown.The Spaniard looked in supreme form against the 21-year-old Tsitsipas and can head to Australia for the ATP Cup brimming with confidence.RelatedNovak Djokovic Rejects Coronavirus VaccineApril 21, 2020In “Tennis”Novak Djokovic Out For The Rest Of 2017 Due To Elbow InjuryJuly 26, 2017In “Sports”Novak Djokovic Returns To World Tennis SummitNovember 5, 2018In “Tennis”