The intensity of light around when you consider your finances can have a large impact on the quality of decision making.
A study of more than 2,500 people provides new evidence about the effects of luminance on the quality and consistency of financial decision-making.
Luminance - Measurement - Amount - Light - Earth
Luminance is a measurement of the amount of light that falls on the earth’s surface, which can be affected by cloud cover, humidity, suspended particles, and time of day and year.
Researchers already know luminance affects behaviour, with sensors in the human retina carrying continuous information on light levels to the hypothalamus, a section of the brain which regulates functions such as hunger, sleep and sex drive.
Study - Luminance - Decisions - People - Gambles
The study which investigated how luminance affected the decisions of 2,530 people on monetary gambles, is published in the journal PLOS ONE.
“On the days with higher light intensity, people made worse decisions and they were more inconsistent in the choices that they made,” says University of Sydney Associate Professor Agnieszka Tymula.
Luminance - People - Risk - Attitudes
Luminance also affected people’s risk attitudes.
When the luminance level was high people were more likely to avoid known risks. When offered a choice between a certain $5 payout and a 50% chance of $20, they were more likely to go for the certain $5.
Tolerance - Risks - Luminance - Days - Chance
But they had greater tolerance for unknown risks. On high luminance days, they were more likely to go for an unknown chance of getting $20 over the certain $5 payout.
“Overall, the effects are not of an enormous magnitude, but nevertheless they are consistent, significant, and strong enough to be expected to have significant effects on...
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