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Psychol Sci. 2012 Apr;23(4):370-4. doi: 10.1177/0956797611431464. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

Fast thought speed induces risk taking.

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Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.


In two experiments, we tested for a causal link between thought speed and risk taking. In Experiment 1, we manipulated thought speed by presenting neutral-content text at either a fast or a slow pace and having participants read the text aloud. In Experiment 2, we manipulated thought speed by presenting fast-, medium-, or slow-paced movie clips that contained similar content. Participants who were induced to think more quickly took more risks with actual money in Experiment 1 and reported greater intentions to engage in real-world risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex and illegal drug use, in Experiment 2. These experiments provide evidence that faster thinking induces greater risk taking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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