This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Effects of Pressure on Strategy Selection for Decisions Made Under Uncertainty




Huffling, Steven Kyle

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Decisions are often made in high-stakes or pressure filled situations. Some evidence suggests that in the presence of social and performance pressures, some people become less able to maintain the use of complex strategies (Beilock & Carr, 2005; Copeland & Radvansky, 2004). In the current study a movie judgment task was used to assess transitions in strategy selection under social and performance pressures. No evidence of changes in decision strategy was found. However, participants who were not given explicit strategy training were, in general, slower to make decisions in pressure and no pressure conditions. These findings indicate that under pressure people are generally able to maintain complex strategy use, but without training for a particular strategy, they may need more time to determine which strategy is appropriate for a decision.