Human Behavior Research Papers

Human Behavior Research Papers-7
A second Mechanical Turk experiment used a digital Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART).

A second Mechanical Turk experiment used a digital Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART).Participants’ could earn real money every time they inflated a balloon, but each inflation could lead to the balloon popping, resulting in no money earned for that trial.The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published the research, which tapped big data tools to conduct text analyses of nearly 40,000 Twitter users, and to run online experiments to test the behavior of people who provided their Twitter handles. “Twitter is like a microscope for psychologists,” says co-author Phillip Wolff, an Emory associate professor of psychology.

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The results showed that future orientation was not associated with investment behavior, but that individuals with far future-sightedness were more likely to choose to wait for future rewards than those with near future-sightedness.

That indicates that investment behavior depends on how far individuals think into the future and not their tendency to think about the future in general.

Experimental data was gathered using the Amazon crowdsourcing tool Mechanical Turk, a web site where individuals can complete psychology experiments and other internet-based tasks.

Participants in the Mechanical Turk experiments were asked to supply their Twitter handles.

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For further information, including about cookie settings, please read our Cookie Policy .To learn more or modify/prevent the use of cookies, see our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.Individuals who tend to think further into the future are more likely to invest money and to avoid risks, finds a new paper by psychologists at Emory University.“We found that, while demographics are important, they couldn’t explain away the effects of future-thinking,” Wolff says.The estimated 21 percent of American adults who use Twitter tend to be younger and more technologically literate than the general population, Thorstad concedes.Another possible reason, he adds, is that prior studies explicitly asked individuals how far they thought into the future while the PNAS paper used the implicit measure of previous tweets.While the relationship between future-sightedness and decision-making may seem obvious, the researchers note that previous findings on the subject have not been consistent.In one experiment for the PNAS paper, Mechanical Turk participants answered a classic delay discounting question, such as: Would you prefer today or 0 in six months? Future orientation was measured by the tendency of participants to tweet about the future compared to the past.Future-sightedness was measured based on how often tweets referred to the future, and how far into the future.If participants stopped inflating before the balloon popped, they could bank the money that they have earned and proceed to the next trial. The results showed that those with longer future-sightedness were less likely to take the risk of fully inflating the balloon.Another study in the PNAS paper focused on Twitter users whose profiles tied them to a particular state.


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