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Title: Risk-taking behaviour : influences of incidental and integral emotions
Author: Grant, Suzanne Adele
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 9170
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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Theoretical perspectives (ATF, Lerner & Keltner, 2000, 2001) on emotion and risk- taking posit that differences in risk-propensity and risk choice between angry and anxious individuals can be predicted on the basis of the appraisal dimensions which define these emotions. The thesis aimed to test these predictions across three studies of trait emotions, incidental affective states and integral emotions. Study one examined differences in reported risk-taking between trait angry and trait anxious individuals. A large scale study (N = 1961) was conducted which saw the development and validation of the General Risk Accessibility and Behaviour scale (GRAB); differences between trait angry and trait anxious were then assessed in terms of current risk-taking behaviours. Findings indicated a reliable and stable factor structure as well as strong construct validity of the GRAB. Hypotheses were partially supported insofar as trait anger was found to be more strongly associated with risk- taking than trait anxiety. However, trait anxious individuals were found to take greater dietary risks than trait angry individuals and were also found to demonstrate positive associations with risk-taking with regards to health-threatening behaviours. Study two focused on the manipulation of immediate anger and anxiety during an emotional Stroop task in order to assess whether angry and anxious individuals differed in their attentional bias towards risk-related stimuli. No Stroop effect however, was demonstrated. Possible explanations were offered in terms of distraction effects caused by the manipulation techniques. Difficulties encountered with the emotion manipulations during study two, prompted the need for a more naturalistic method for inducing emotions. The final study therefore aimed to test ATF predictions in a more naturalistic context. The use of the Leeds Advanced Driving Simulator (LADS) enabled manipulations of immediate integral emotions based upon other driver behaviour. Findings from the final study demonstrated that angry drivers drove at faster speeds and demonstrated shorter time headway and shorter time to collision compared to fearful drivers during the lane drop and contraflow scenarios. However, fearful drivers were found to drive faster throughout the narrow lanes scenarios. Overall the thesis provides partial support for the Appraisal Tendency Framework (Lerner & Keltner, 2000, 2001) in predicting differences in risk-taking between angry and anxious individuals. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available