Semester of Graduation

Spring 2020


Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Research in decision making has focused increasing attention on understanding search behavior without focusing on how individual differences might influence people’s search behavior. To increase our understanding of this topic, the present study examined how personality predicted the amount of search an individual engages in before making a risky decision. It was hypothesized that conscientiousness would be a positive predictor of search behavior and would emerge as an even stronger predictor of search behavior when choosing between options with negative outcomes. It was also hypothesized that neuroticism would be a negative predictor of search behavior and that individuals with higher levels of neuroticism would search even less before making a decision that involve losses. The analysis did not support either hypothesis with none of the personality measures being significant predictors of search behavior for either the gain or the loss condition. However, a significant difference was found between the correlation coefficients of neuroticism by decision domain with neuroticism being associated with people searching less in the loss domain when compared to the gain domain, although the correlations themselves were not significant. Suggestions for future research in understanding search behavior are provided to enhance our understanding of individual differences and decision making.



Committee Chair

Harman, Jason