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Honors Thesis


The Asian Disease Problem or ADP is a hypothetical situation with a framing bias or effect created by Tversky and Kahneman. By utilizing the ADP, we want to observe whether certain personality traits like numeracy (NUM), need for cognition (NC), and need for cognitive closure (NCC) affect participant base decision making. This decision may be based on information that is presented to them or information that has been “mentally filled in” by implications. We used an online survey to gather our data through Amazon MTurk. The survey consisted of demographic questions, personality scales, and the decision tasks that were divided into six conditions with one condition for each participant. We found significant results confirming the framing effects of Tversky and Kahneman, however, only within the gain frame. There were also significant results confirming the truncation effect of Reyna and Brainerd, but only within the gain frame. There were also significant results for participants who scored high in NUM and made risky decisions in the positive frame. Contrary to our hypothesis, NUM and NC did not interact with the truncation effects. We believe some of the results may be due to the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, whereas the original ADP was purely a hypothetical situation.

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