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Table 1 Summary of hypotheses

From: Framing and self-responsibility modulate brain activities in decision escalation

Situation Theoretical arguments Hypotheses
Q1: Whether different brain networks govern escalation and de-escalation decisions?
Escalation Decisions Prospect theory: Risk seeking (committing more resources) for lose aversion when receiving negative feedback/facing a troubled project [55]
Sunk costs: Committing more resources to save prior investment [3
Neural areas associated with conflict monitoring, self-perception processes, and emotional processing such as the ACC, cingulate cortex, insula and precuneus will be higher in escalation decisions when a person decides to risk further investment in order to avoid cognitive dissonance and restore his or her self-image. (H1)
De-escalation Decisions De-escalation process: Using a systematic procedure for conscious deliberation to avoid decision bias [8] Regions associated with system 2 involved in the inhibition of risky suboptimal choices and learning, namely the inferior and superior frontal gyri will be relatively more active. (H2)
Q2: What are the effects of responsibility and goal framing on escalation decision?
High Responsibility Self-justification theory: Escalation decisions for rectifying past losses and attempting to justify earlier decisions when one was responsible for the project or made the prior decision [1] Brain regions associated with escalation decisions will be more activated when one’s responsibility is higher compared to when it is lower (H3a)
Low Responsibility Self-justification theory: De-escalation decisions occur when one was not responsible for the project and did not make the prior decision [1] Brain regions associated with de-escalation decisions will be more activated when one’s responsibility is lower compared to when it is higher (H3b)
Positive Framing Approach-avoidance theory: Escalation decisions occur when the drive to encourage escalation is greater than the restraint to encourage de-escalation. [18]
Goal framing effect: Escalation decisions occur when the consequence of escalation behavior is positively framed as gain. [22]
Brain regions associated with escalation decisions will be more activated in positive framing conditions than in negative framing conditions (H4a)
Negative Framing Approach-avoidance theory: De-escalation decisions occur when the drive to encourage escalation is smaller than the restraint to encourage de-escalation. [18]
Goal framing effect: De-escalation decisions occur when the consequence of escalation behavior is negatively framed as loss. [22]
Brain regions associated with de-escalation decisions will be more activated in negative framing conditions than in positive framing conditions (H4b)