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Different participant compensation methods may have discrepant effects on decision-making in behavioral measures of risk-taking. Participants in clinical samples tend to receive session-based payment (often in conjunction with decision-based payment), whereas participants in student samples generally receive decision-based payment or no payment at all. This study examined the effect of different methods of participant payment on a behavioral measure of individual differences in risk-taking. Participants completed the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) as well as questionnaire measures of sensation-seeking and impulsivity. Participants who received session-based payment engaged in significantly greater risk-taking in the BART compared to those who were paid based on their decisions and those who were not paid at all (i.e., those who were only compensated with course credit). These effects were not influenced by age, gender, sensation-seeking or impulsivity. These findings provide evidence that different compensation methods significantly influence participants' risk-taking propensity as measured by the BART. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Personality and Individual Differences

Publication Date





111 - 114