Article

Alexithymia, Cumulative Feedback, and Differential Response Patterns on the Iowa Gambling Task

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Citation

Ferguson E, Bibby PA, Rosamond S, O’Grady C, Parcell A, Amos C, McCutcheon C & O'Carroll R (2009) Alexithymia, Cumulative Feedback, and Differential Response Patterns on the Iowa Gambling Task. Journal of Personality, 77 (3), pp. 883-902. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2009.00568.x

Abstract
While the role of emotional processing is central to contemporary models of risky decision making to date the role of trait emotional understanding has not been explored experimentally in this context. The current experiment (N = 326) explores the role of alexithymia with respect to performance on the standard Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and a version where cumulative financial feedback is obscured. Standard learning on the IGT was observed for those low in alexithymia. Those high in alexithymia learned to avoid disadvantageous decks over the first half of the task. However, over the later trials they showed a change in performance, shifting from advantageous to disadvantageous and back to advantageous decks again (termed an ‘explore-learn-change-return’ strategy). It is argued that this is due to an inability to fully consolidate earlier learning and reduced sensitivity to losses. The absence of cumulative feedback independently resulted in reduced performance.

Keywords
Alexithymia; Risky Decision Making; Somatic Markers Hypothesis; Iowa Gambling Task; Cumulative Feedback; Alexithymia; Mental Disorders psychology; Decision making

Journal
Journal of Personality: Volume 77, Issue 3

StatusPublished
Publication date30/06/2009
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/2033
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
ISSN0022-3506

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Professor Ronan O'Carroll
Professor Ronan O'Carroll

Professor, Psychology

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