No study has been conducted to evaluate the influences of age differences on specific moods for risk taking tendencies. This study examined the patterns of risk taking tendencies among younger and older persons in 3 transient affective states: positive, neutral, and negative moods. By means of viewing happy, neutral, or sad movie clips, participants were induced to the respective mood. Risk taking tendencies were measured with decision tasks modified from the Choice Dilemmas Questionnaire (N. Kogan & M. A. Wallach, 1964). Consistent with the affect infusion model (J. P. Forgas, 1995), risk taking tendency was greater for those individuals who were in a happy mood than for those who were in a sad mood, for both young and older participants. However, an asymmetrical effect of positive and negative mood on risk taking tendency was identified among both the young and older participants, but in opposite directions. These results are consistent with the predictions of the negativity bias and the positivity effect found in young and older adults, respectively, and are interpreted via information processing and motivation effects of mood on the decision maker. Copyright © 2007 American Psychological Association.
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