A TALE OF TWO SYSTEMS: EXECUTIVE FUNCTION IN ULTIMATUM GAME DECISIONS

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194942
Title:
A TALE OF TWO SYSTEMS: EXECUTIVE FUNCTION IN ULTIMATUM GAME DECISIONS
Author:
Tesch, Aaron Daniel Kuechler
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Theories that formally describe decision-making have traditionally posited that decisions are made by rational actors. However, it is generally accepted that humans often make irrational decisions because of quick emotional judgements. In order to reconcile these two inconsistent ideas psychologists have developed two-system theories that hypothesize decisions are made by two opposing cognitive systems, representing the rational and emotional processing of decisions. Evidence for a two-system model of decision-making can be observed in ultimatum game responder decisions. It is thought that rational processing of these choices will produce acceptance of unfair offers and emotional processing will encourage rejection of unfair offers. Emotional priming has been shown to decrease ultimatum game acceptances and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation of rational brain areas, i.e. DLPFC, show increases in ultimatum game acceptances. This study investigated the possibility of using behavioral tasks that are known to activate rational brain areas to promote/disrupt ultimatum game acceptances. The possible relationship between ultimatum game acceptances and executive functions was also examined. Although there were promising indications that working memory loading may increase ultimatum game acceptances in between-subject experiments, a within-subject investigation found little support for this method of promoting/disrupting rational ultimatum game decisions. There were also no relationships found between switching or inhibition executive functions and ultimatum game responder decisions. A moderate positive relationship was found between updating executive function and ultimatum game acceptance rates but this relationship was dependent on working memory task feedback, a within-subject design and active loading of the working memory system. However, its possible that these findings only apply to within-subject paradigms and future between-subject studies are advised.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Decision making; Executive Function; Two-system models; Ultimatum Game
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Psychology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Sanfey, Alan G.
Committee Chair:
Sanfey, Alan G.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleA TALE OF TWO SYSTEMS: EXECUTIVE FUNCTION IN ULTIMATUM GAME DECISIONSen_US
dc.creatorTesch, Aaron Daniel Kuechleren_US
dc.contributor.authorTesch, Aaron Daniel Kuechleren_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractTheories that formally describe decision-making have traditionally posited that decisions are made by rational actors. However, it is generally accepted that humans often make irrational decisions because of quick emotional judgements. In order to reconcile these two inconsistent ideas psychologists have developed two-system theories that hypothesize decisions are made by two opposing cognitive systems, representing the rational and emotional processing of decisions. Evidence for a two-system model of decision-making can be observed in ultimatum game responder decisions. It is thought that rational processing of these choices will produce acceptance of unfair offers and emotional processing will encourage rejection of unfair offers. Emotional priming has been shown to decrease ultimatum game acceptances and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation of rational brain areas, i.e. DLPFC, show increases in ultimatum game acceptances. This study investigated the possibility of using behavioral tasks that are known to activate rational brain areas to promote/disrupt ultimatum game acceptances. The possible relationship between ultimatum game acceptances and executive functions was also examined. Although there were promising indications that working memory loading may increase ultimatum game acceptances in between-subject experiments, a within-subject investigation found little support for this method of promoting/disrupting rational ultimatum game decisions. There were also no relationships found between switching or inhibition executive functions and ultimatum game responder decisions. A moderate positive relationship was found between updating executive function and ultimatum game acceptance rates but this relationship was dependent on working memory task feedback, a within-subject design and active loading of the working memory system. However, its possible that these findings only apply to within-subject paradigms and future between-subject studies are advised.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectDecision makingen_US
dc.subjectExecutive Functionen_US
dc.subjectTwo-system modelsen_US
dc.subjectUltimatum Gameen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSanfey, Alan G.en_US
dc.contributor.chairSanfey, Alan G.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberJacobs, William J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberScheres, Anouken_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRyan, Leeen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10693en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659753464en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.