Background: Previous studies have demonstrated that individuals showed higher risk preference in the afternoon than in the morning. However, few studies aimed to explore the alteration of feedback learning effect during risky decision making, which is one of the important psychological processes of real risk behaviors. Moreover, cognitive function altered at the off-peak time due to impaired inhibitory control. The present study is to investigate the time-of-day effect on risky decision making and inhibitory control and whether the alteration of inhibitory control causes the differences in risky decision making across one day. Participants and Methods: We adopted a within-participants design without extremely chronotype individuals to measure the time-of-day (9 am vs 3 pm) effect on risky decision making by using the Balloon Analogue Risk Task. At the same time, we measured the inhibitory control by using the Go/no-go task. Results: Our results confirmed that individuals showed higher risk preference in the afternoon than in the morning. In addition, we found that individuals were insensitive to loss and the previous negative feedback in the afternoon. Critically, the results did not reveal any significant correlation between risky decision making and inhibitory control under the regulation of the time-of-day effects, although individuals performed worse on inhibitory control in the afternoon. Conclusion: The current findings revealed that the time-of-day effect regulated risky decision making and inhibitory control. Individuals act with higher risk preference, less sensitivity to loss as negative feedback, and lower inhibitory control in the afternoon than in the morning. This may reflect the effects of time-of-day on risk propensity and inhibitory control is relatively independent.
Li, M., Mai, Z., Yang, J., Zhang, B., & Ma, N. (2020). Ideal time of day for risky decision making: Evidence from the balloon analogue risk task. Nature and Science of Sleep, 12, 477–486. https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S260321