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How does adjustment layers work in 32 bit exactly?

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Recently I've been dealing with a lot of 32 bit renders. I've started using ambient occlusion layer to add more depth, but I find the result image a bit too intense if I just multiply the AO layer to the RGB layer. Therefore, besides lowering the opacity, I also tries to apply a curve or level adjustment to the AO layer. However, upon adding the layer, the whole image would dim down a lot, even without me changing any settings. It could potentially be a bug, but I think it would also make sense if it's by design (having pre-process enabled by default so that the adjustment would feel more "linear" to human eye). I can still get things done after some trying, but that the adjustment's behavior kinda feels "random" bugs me a bit. I want to know how exactly does all the adjustment layers works in 32 bit environment so that I can be more confident when using them.

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