Title page for ETD etd-05152013-223854

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lauharatanahirun, Nina
Author's Email Address
URN etd-05152013-223854
Title The Behavioral and Neural Mechanisms of Social and Non-social Risky Decision-Making
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Brooks King-Casas Committee Chair
Kirby Deater-Deckard Committee Member
Pearl Chiu Committee Member
  • fMRI
  • social risk
  • individual differences
  • risk
  • social neuroscience
  • trust
Date of Defense 2013-05-06
Availability restricted
Decisions made under risk have been primarily studied within economic contexts (Platt & Huettel, 2008). This has led to the development of sound methods and models for studying risky choice behavior (Rangel, Camerer & Montague, 2008). In particular, these models are helpful for estimating how much risk an individual is willing to tolerate. However, there may be a limit in the extent to which we can generalize these estimations, in that economic models do not take into account the underlying social preferences that often guide decision makers (Fehr & Camerer, 2007; Fehr & Schmidt, 2004). This suggests that an individual’s propensity for risk may be different depending on social or non-social information present within the environment (Bohnet, Greig, Herrmann & Zeckhauser, 2008). The present study aimed to: (i) assess how risk preferences may differ across social and non-social contexts; (ii) identify common and distinct neural correlates of social and non-social risk; and (iii) determine neural characteristics associated with individual sensitivities to social and non-social risk. Subjects (N=30) played an adaptation of the Trust Game while their blood-oxygen-level-dependent response was monitored using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Differences in risk preferences across social and non-social conditions as well as neuroimaging correlates of social and non-social risk will be discussed.
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