Three studies investigated the link between dispositional anxiety and the tendency to engage in risk-avoidant decision-making. Findings suggest that dispositional anxiety is associated with a pronounced bias toward making risk-avoidant choices. Individual differences in trait anxiety, worry, and social anxiety were each associated with risk-avoidance on a behavioral risk-taking task (Studies 1 and 2). Compared with other clinical patients (e.g., mood disorders) and non-clinical controls, anxiety disordered patients exhibited substantially greater risk-aversion (Study 3). Findings suggest that the relationship with risk-avoidance is specific to anxiety, and is not merely concomitant to the experience of negative affect. This research has implications for understanding the links between individual differences in affective processing and basic decision-making processes.
- Social anxiety
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