Deciding advantageously after flipping a coin

Jaffé, Mariela E. and Greifeneder, Rainer. (2022) Deciding advantageously after flipping a coin. Acta psychologica, 223. p. 103511.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/87296/

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Folk wisdom, advice columns, and pop culture suggest that when undecided, individuals may flip a coin - not to simply follow the suggestion, but to inspect their reaction to the outcome and then use the reaction to decide. While being intuitively appealing, it remains an open question whether this strategy results in advantageous decisions. Here we used an adapted version of the Iowa Gambling Task to test whether flipping a coin before making a decision may result in advantageous choices. Participants from the general public (N = 542) participated in the adapted Iowa Gambling Task. Results suggest that, under certain conditions, using a coin flip results in a higher likelihood to choose the objectively better option after 40 trials and a steeper learning curve throughout the game. Furthermore, after 40 trials, coin- compared to control-participants described themselves as more certain and the task as easier. This study is the first to show that flipping a coin may prove beneficial, objectively by leading to better decisions, and subjectively by resulting in reduced difficulty and higher certainty.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Society & Choice > Sozialpsychologie (Greifeneder)
UniBasel Contributors:Jaffé, Mariela Elena E. and Greifeneder, Rainer
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:27 Jan 2022 14:17
Deposited On:27 Jan 2022 14:17

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