Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

4-2017

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Richard W. J. Neufeld

Second Advisor

Bryan Grant

Abstract

Novel research in the domain of decisional control (DC), the process whereby individuals in multifaceted stressing situations make probabilistic judgments in order to reduce the occurrence of adverse events, has recently tested a mathematically specified normative model of coping with stress. This model used choice under uncertainty to understand the cognitive underpinnings of choice and linked threat. Findings from this undertaking have supported the notion that individualized subjective expected utilities (SEU) provide the best fit over group-averaged SEU and objective utility models in a sample of undergraduate students. The present research examined whether this finding holds true for choice under risk as well. Specifically, the game-theoretic probability mixture model used previously was tested using known probabilities of threat, rather than unknown probabilities of threat using the same methodology and a similar sample of undergraduate students. Psychometric profiling was also implemented to explore individual differences in DC amenability. A mixed-analysis ANOVA revealed that the three models, Individualized, Group, and Conditional, performed similarly under risk using two model-fit indexes, G2 and Pearsonc2. A correlation analysis also revealed individuals do not seem to differ on DC amenability based on the individual differences examined, but several variables appeared to correlate highly with one another.

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