Reappraisal and expected value modulate risk taking

Laura Martin Braunstein, Stefanie J. Herrera, Mauricio R. Delgado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Decision making is informed by appraisals of appetitive cues and their associated opportunities for rewards. Such appraisals can be modulated by cognitive regulation strategies in order to promote goal-directed choices. Little is known about how cognitive regulation strategies, especially reappraisal, alter risk taking during decision making. To characterise the effect of reappraisal on risk taking, we systematically varied both the goal of regulation and the value of the decision options. Participants engaged in two reappraisal strategies with opposite goals, to increase ("emphasise") or decrease ("de-emphasise") the importance of an upcoming decision, during the presentation of cues signalling monetary decisions. The expected value of taking a risk was systematically varied across decisions such that a risky choice could be beneficial or disadvantageous. Reappraisal strategies increased or decreased risk taking in accordance both with regulation goals and expected value information. These results suggest that reappraisal can be used to flexibly alter behaviour associated with appetitive cues while maintaining value information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-181
Number of pages10
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Cognitive reappraisal
  • Decision making
  • Emotion regulation
  • Reward
  • Risk taking


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