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Working memory and individual differences in decision making

by 1978- Jameson, Tina L.

Abstract (Summary)
Chair: Paul Whitney by Tina L. Jameson, Ph.D. Washington State University August 2004 A working memory load has been shown to impact the formation of somatic markers, affective reactions that help guide decision making. When a working memory load (such as a set of digits that must be remembered) is introduced into a decision making situation, the somatic marker fails to form and decision making performance subsequently declines. The purpose of the present research is to explore this finding in greater detail with an individual differences approach. To accomplish this goal, two experiments were conducted in which participants performed several working memory tasks as well as a decision making task known as the gambling task. In the first experiment, results replicated prior research showing that a working memory load does yield poorer performance on the gambling task. However, no relationship was found between the working memory tasks and the gambling task. The second experiment differed from the first only in that a physiological measure of performance, the skin conductance response, was recorded during the gambling task in addition to the behavioral performance. Results of the second experiment did not replicate the finding that a working memory load affects performance, nor was there any relationship found between the working memory tasks and the gambling task. iii
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Advisor:

School:Washington State University

School Location:USA - Washington

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:short term memory decision making

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