Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Lisa Anderson

Committee Members

Carlisle Moody

Lisa Szykman


We conducted a study to examine whether cost-saving practices in human behavior experiments elicit realistic decisions. Subjects participated in three lottery choice treatments modeled after Holt and Laury’s 2002 design. Each treatment had varying financial incentives, and a coefficient of relative risk aversion was assigned for the decisions made in each treatment. The experiment was paired with a follow-up survey that included demographic questions and questions pertaining to a subject’s engagement in risky behaviors. The study found statistically significant increases in risk-aversion with increases in the scale of payoffs. None of the risky behaviors on the survey predicted risk-loving behavior in the experiment. The study did find, however, that self-financing college predicted risk-averse behavior in two of the three treatments.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

On-Campus Access Only