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Journal Article

Citation

Li JZ, Gui DY, Feng CL, Wang WZ, Du BQ, Gan T, Luo YJ. PLoS One 2012; 7(7): e40316.

Affiliation

State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2012, Public Library of Science)

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0040316

PMID

22792277

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Time discounting refers to the fact that the subjective value of a reward decreases as the delay until its occurrence increases. The present study investigated how time discounting has been affected in survivors of the magnitude-8.0 Wenchuan earthquake that occurred in China in 2008. METHODOLOGY: Nineteen earthquake survivors and 22 controls, all school teachers, participated in the study. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) for time discounting tasks involving gains and losses were acquired in both the victims and controls. FINDINGS: The behavioral data replicated our previous findings that delayed gains were discounted more steeply after a disaster. ERP results revealed that the P200 and P300 amplitudes were increased in earthquake survivors. There was a significant group (earthquake vs. non- earthquake) × task (gain vs. loss) interaction for the N300 amplitude, with a marginally significantly reduced N300 for gain tasks in the experimental group, which may suggest a deficiency in inhibitory control for gains among victims. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that post-disaster decisions might involve more emotional (System 1) and less rational thinking (System 2) in terms of a dual-process model of decision making. The implications for post-disaster intervention and management are also discussed.


Language: en

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