Examination of the Moderating Effects of the Psychological Resiliency Mindset Model on Decision-Making Directly After Acute Analogue Trauma Exposure
Exposure to a potentially traumatic event is a stressful experience and may have an immediate negative effect on an individual's emotional and cognitive abilities. The exposure to a potentially traumatic event may also force an individual to make a quick decision that may be pivotal in reducing or preventing further distress afterward. The more immediate effects on overall decision-making directly after trauma exposure is less understood. The purpose of this study was to assess: 1) if direct exposure to an analogue trauma stimulus impacts decision making performance in comparison to a neutral stimulus; and 2) determine whether Psychological Resiliency Mindset Model (PRMM) factors moderate the relationship between acute traumatic stress and decision-making? A between-group randomized laboratory experiment examined film type (trauma or neutral) and PRMM components on decision-making in 247 undergraduate students. No significant differences were observed in overall DM performance between the trauma and neutral conditions, and PRMM components did not interact with film condition to affect DM performance. Even though the results were not significant, this study contributed to the literature by expanding our understanding of the unique relationship between decision-making and acute trauma exposure and demonstrated an ethical approach to study acute trauma exposure within a laboratory setting.