University of Twente Student Theses


The effects of different social stress conditions on human decision making

Ragalmuto, Florian (2020) The effects of different social stress conditions on human decision making.

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Abstract:Decisions nowadays become increasingly associated with fear, anxiety, and stress. Due to the far-reaching consequences a decision might have, the appraisal of stress by the decision maker can have a crucial impact on our society. Neuropsychological findings suggest that when humans are subject to a stressful situation, perceiving it as a challenge instead of a threat could induce moderate instead of high stress levels. This provides increased cognitive capacity and could, therefore, contribute to more favorable decisions of the individual. Thus, a one-factor between-groups design was employed to investigate the effects of stress in challenging, threatening or control conditions on participants decision-making performance. In contrast to initial expectations, we found no significant differences in IGT-performance, depending on the stress-condition of participants. These results and the established context suggest that, in general, the utilized online video-chat was not sufficiently immersive to create equally challenging or threatening situations for the conditions. Consequently, it appears as this shallow stress-induction left more space for personal characteristics, like an individual's age, to interact with the reaction to stress. After all, this paper explains the effects of different social stress conditions embedded in a contextual framework about the effects of stress on cognitive functions.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:02 science and culture in general, 42 biology, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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