Are mindful people more risk‐averse? Effects of trait and state mindfulness on risk preference in decision‐making

Shiguang Ni, Shuang Lu, Zhuo Job Chen, Yufeng Zhang
Published Online:
22 Sep 2020

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The current research investigated whether various aspects of mindfulness were differentially associated with risk preference in decision‐making. In Studies 1 and 2, attention and present‐focus aspects of trait mindfulness were associated with lower risk preference in making monetary gains. In Study 3, participants completed either a mindfulness training or listened to a comparable control recording. Compared to the control condition, subjects in the mindfulness condition were more risk‐averse in making choices for monetary gains. The attention and present‐focus aspects of state mindfulness mediated this connection. Study 4 introduced a loss framing, where attention and present‐focus no longer associated with lower risk preference, but awareness and acceptance aspects of trait mindfulness associated with higher risk preference in avoiding monetary losses. The results suggest that different aspects of mindfulness have potential for mitigating risk preference, but such potential is limited depending on the framing of a decision context.

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