Student Activities 2009-2010

Ninekema Laroque and Rebecca Desrosier

“It’s more money that I have, but I have to go one more”: Qualitative and quantitative analyses of risky decision making in “Deal or No Deal”

Society for Judgment and Decision Making Annual Conference

Extending laboratory research, risky decision making was investigated in the show “Deal or No Deal” focusing on a process analysis and on individual difference variables. The game shows Deal or No Deal with 35 contestants (18 women and 17 men, with ages ranging between 21 to 62, average age of 35.7 years, SD = 10.7) were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. Following previous research on sex differences in risky decisions, men and women differed in several decision characteristics, such as time. Men make riskier decision than women when others are watching them. Illusion of control is the phenomenon of feeling in control of and influencing obviously uncontrollable chance events. The more in control that people feel that they are over a game, the more they will gamble. When people believe that their skills can influence the outcome of a game of chance, they become extremely confident. In doing, they make riskier decisions than they would normally make. Social support facilitated the decision making process of the contestants. Having trustworthy people around gave the contestants more confidence in the decision that they made. We hypothesized that men will make riskier decisions than women and win less money than women.Illusion of control will be negatively related with dollar amount won. Participants will win more money if they agree with the advice of their family.Longer decision time will be positively related with won dollar amount. We found that illusion of control was not related to dollar amount won. There was no gender differences in the risky decisions made. Demographic variables such as age or gender are not related to won final dollar amount. Family influence was not related with dollar amount won. Longer decision time correlated with dollar amount won. Results showed illusion of control and anxiety as determinants of risky decisions, as well as social influences primarily by the family on the decisions made. Results highlight social influences and individual differences in risky financial decisions made under time pressure in a public context.