ESSAYS ON DECISION MAKING AND THE ROLE OF HUNGER IN RISKY CHOICE BEHAVIOR
MetadataShow full item record
Decision making is an integral part of human life. It encompasses different domains (e.g., risky choice, intertemporal choice, etc.), and is affected by numerous factors (visceral factors, emotions, representations, etc.). Following a thorough review of the evolution of decision making as a field of study, this dissertation studies the effect of experimentally manipulated hunger – a typical drive state – on choices in the context of decision making under risk for both food and money. Using a risky-choice framing task, the effect of hunger was tested to assess its influence on: (a) choice consistency (“rational choice behavior”) as reflected by the degree of framing bias exhibited by the participants, (b) risk preferences, and (c) sensitivity to midpoint probabilities. Furthermore, a number of theoretical hypotheses were driven from three distinct models — two traditional dual-system models and fuzzy-trace theory – and compared with participants’ actual choice behavior. Results from the experiment show that being in a drive state of hunger increased risk aversion for food and money but did not generate a stronger framing bias, or significantly alter the sensitivity to midpoint probabilities. Particularly, this pattern of risk preferences was robust across both gain and loss-framed decisions. In addition, this work provides some evidence for oversensitivity to midpoint probabilities in the context of risky-choice framing task. These findings pose a challenge to the two traditional dual-system models, contradicting some of their formal predictions, while providing some support to fuzzy-trace theory. Future directions for theoretical research are discussed.
Supplemental file(s) description: Datasets Used for the Project, Complete ANOVA Plus Means
Psychology; Economics; hunger; Drive States; decision making; Framing Eﬀect; Risky Choice; Fuzzy-trace theory
Blume, Lawrence Edward
Reyna, Valerie; Schulze, William D.
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis