Interoceptive ability predicts aversion to losses

Peter Sokol-Hessner, Catherine A. Hartley, Jeffrey R. Hamilton, Elizabeth A. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emotions have been proposed to inform risky decision-making through the influence of affective physiological responses on subjective value. The ability to perceive internal body states, or “interoception” may influence this relationship. Here, we examined whether interoception predicts participants' degree of loss aversion, which has been previously linked to choice-related arousal responses. Participants performed both a heartbeat-detection task indexing interoception and a risky monetary decision-making task, from which loss aversion, risk attitudes and choice consistency were parametrically measured. Interoceptive ability correlated selectively with loss aversion and was unrelated to the other value parameters. This finding suggests that specific and separable component processes underlying valuation are shaped not only by our physiological responses, as shown in previous findings, but also by our interoceptive access to such signals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-701
Number of pages7
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 19 2015


  • Decision-making
  • Emotion
  • Interoception
  • Loss aversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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