Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Allen Szalda-Petree

Commitee Members

Nabil Haddad, Stuart Hall, Wendy Shields, Jerry Smith




University of Montana


Foraging theory has been studied extensively in non-human animals. Using models developed through animal-study, researchers have recently begun to examine how humans make decisions with regard to resource-expenditure. Using a computer-based task, the proposed study investigated risk-sensitive decision-making, in humans. Participants were asked to "spend" a most valuable resource, time, in order to complete a computer-based task. Participants were asked to choose between two computer-generated selection boxes, each yielding a different delay-value. However, participants were given different feedback as to how each session progressed (i.e. whether ahead or behind) depending on the budget condition to which he was assigned. It was found that both males and females were sensitive to budget condition such that participants were more risk-averse under the positive budget condition and all participants were less risk-averse under the negative budget condition. A questionnaire on participants' financial situation and goals was also included.



© Copyright 2006 Stephanie Carsten Kucera