Differential effects of social stress on laboratory-based decision-making are related to both impulsive personality traits and gender

Richard Julian Wise, Alissa Phung, Izelle Labuschagne, Julie C Stout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Urgency is the tendency to make impulsive decisions under extreme positive or negative emotional states. Stress, gender and impulsive personality traits are all known to influence decision-making, but no studies have examined the interplay of all of these factors. We exposed 78 men and women to a stress or a non-stress condition, and then administered the Balloon Analogue Risk Task. We found that stress effects varied as a function of gender and urgency traits. Under stress, women low in negative urgency and men high in negative urgency made fewer risky decisions. Positive urgency yielded a similar pattern. Thus, decisions under stress depend on a complex interplay between gender and impulsive personality traits. These findings have implications for clinical disorders, such as substance use disorders, in which there are known deficits in decision-making and high levels of impulsive traits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1475 - 1485
Number of pages11
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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