Thursday, February 23, 2012

Think Fast! Take Risks!

Via a reader, press release from the Association for Psychological Research:
Think Fast! Take Risks! New Study Finds a Link Between Fast Thinking and Risk Taking
New experiments show that the experience of thinking fast makes people more likely to take risks. This discovery suggests that some of the innovations of the modern world—fast-paced movies, social media sites with a constant flow of fresh updates—are pushing people toward riskier behavior. An article describing two experiments showing this effect will appear in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Thoughts can flow quickly or slowly. If you start your day with a cup of coffee, and an inbox full of e-mails with only a few minutes to check them, you may find your thoughts racing. But, if you skip your morning coffee and start the day staring at a blank wall, you probably won’t be thinking that fast. “Many aspects of your everyday environment impact the speed of your thinking,” says Emily Pronin, a psychology professor at Princeton University, who cowrote the article with Jesse J. Chandler.

In earlier research, Pronin found that people’s thought speed can be altered, and that being led to think fast puts people in a positive mood. She wondered if fast thinking might also make people more risk taking....MORE