The effect of time pressure on risky choice behavior

Hasida Ben Zur, Shlomo J. Breznitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thirty six subjects chose individually between pairs of gambles under three time pressure conditions: High (8 seconds), Medium (16 seconds) and Low (32 seconds). The gambles in each pair were equated for expected value but differed in variance, amounts to win and lose and their respective probabilities. Information about each dimension could be obtained by the subject sequentially according to his preference. The results show that subjects are less risky under High as compared to Medium and Low time pressure, risk taking being measured by choices of gambles with lower variance or lower amounts to lose and win. Subjects tended to spend more time observing the negative dimensions (amount to lose and probability of losing), whereas under low time pressure they preffered observing their positive counterparts. Information preference was found to be related to choices. Filtration of information and acceleration of its processing appear to be the strategies of coping with time pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-104
Number of pages16
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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