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dc.contributor.advisorAlsop, Brent
dc.contributor.authorFarrelly, Nicholas Peter
dc.identifier.citationFarrelly, N. P. (2014). Examining the choice behaviour of sensation seekers using concurrent schedules (Thesis, Master of Science). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThe risky choices of high sensation seekers can have serious consequences. However, the choice behaviour of this population is not often subjected to the experimental analysis of behaviour. The current research examined the choice behaviour of sensation seekers in concurrent schedules using slot-machine-like games on a computer. In Experiment 1, university students could choose between two games that varied in response cost, reinforcer magnitude, and reinforcer frequency. High sensation seeking students, particularly males, tended to prefer the game that provided the larger reward, even though it cost more to play and paid out less frequently. In other words, high sensation seekers were less affected by the response cost, and preferred the option that involved more risk. A similar procedure was used in Experiment 2, which examined choice when there were intermittent losses rather than a response cost. It also arranged “Double or Quits” or “Stay” options following wins and losses. Results showed that high sensation seekers did not prefer the game that paid larger rewards infrequently when there was no response cost for that game, and did not find losses as aversive as low sensation seekers. Regardless of sensation seeking level, participants increasingly preferred the safe option as they approached the end of the task. Overall, the current study provides preliminary evidence that personality traits, such as sensation seeking, influence choice in concurrent schedules. Future research should systematically examine how personality types and personality traits are manifested behaviourally, especially in populations that have a propensity to make risky decisions.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectSensation seeking
dc.subjectConcurrent choice
dc.subjectRisk taking
dc.subjectSlot machine
dc.titleExamining the choice behaviour of sensation seekers using concurrent schedules
dc.language.rfc3066en of Science of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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