The Iowa Gambling Task

Have you guys heard of this psychological experiment? Yes, I might be studying E&E but psychology is one of my many hobbies and I love to learn about how the human brain works. Sometimes when I read psychological journals, I can’t help but wonder whether there is anything wrong with *me*. But I digress.

Anyway, the Iowa Gambling Task is an experiment first introduced by Bechara et. al. in 1994. The task involves choosing a card from four decks, A,B,C & D. Decks A&B yield high rewards but at the same time has a high cash penalty. Decks C&D yields lower rewards but subsequently has a lower cash penalty. In the long run, Decks C&D gives a high gain return whilst Decks A&B has a high net loss.

This task has been used in many studies to observe human reasoning and decision-making. Logically, once a subject gets hold of the game pattern(Decks C&D is the advantageous one), they would shift towards Desks A&B and instead go for Decks C&D. However, people with neural damage(such as to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex) did not show such reasoning.

I am not at all an expert in psychology nor cognitive neuroscience, but I find findings from the Iowa Gambling Task fascinating and I thought my readers(if I have any) might too.


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