This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Cite this article
Robinson OJ, Bond RL, Roiser JP.2015. The impact of threat of shock on the framing effect and temporal discounting: executive functions unperturbed by acute stress?PeerJ PrePrints3:e1123v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.1123v1
Anxiety and stress-related disorders constitute a large global health burden, but are still poorly understood. Prior work has demonstrated clear impacts of stress upon basic cognitive function: biasing attention towards unexpected and potentially threatening information and instantiating a negative affective bias. However, the impact that these changes have on higher-order, executive, decision-making processes is unclear. In this study we examined the impact of a translational within-subjects stress induction (threat of unpredictable shock) on two well-established executive decision-making biases: the framing effect (N=83), and temporal discounting (N=36). In both studies, we demonstrate a) clear subjective effects of stress, and b) clear executive decision-making biases but c) no impact of stress on these decision-making biases. Indeed, Bayes factor analyses confirmed substantial preference for decision-making models that did not includestress. We posit that while stress may induce subjective mood change and alter low-level perceptual and action processes (Robinson et al., 2013b) , some higher-level executive processes remain unperturbed by these impacts. As such, although stress can induce a transient affective biases and altered mood, these need not result in poor financial decision-making.