Acute stress does not affect economic behavior in the experimental laboratory

Róbert F. Veszteg*, Kaori Yamakawa, Tetsuya Matsubayashi, Michiko Ueda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


We report statistical results from a laboratory experiment in which participants were required to make decisions with monetary consequences in several solitary and interactive situations under acute stress. Our study follows the tradition of behavioral and experimental economics in selecting the experimental situations and incorporates elements from medical and psychological research in the way stress is induced and measured. It relies on a larger sample, with 192 volunteers, than previous studies to achieve higher statistical power. The main conclusion, drawn from binary comparisons between the treatment and reference groups, is that acute stress does not have a significant impact on cognitive skills, strategic sophistication, risk attitudes, altruism, cooperativeness, or nastiness. Regression analysis, controlling for psycho-social characteristics, corroborates these findings, while also suggesting that acute stress significantly decreases men’s risk aversion (as measured by a lottery-choice risk-elicitation task).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0244881
JournalPloS one
Issue number1 January
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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