Research Paper: Testing the Brain’s Decision-Making Process In Humans

Design and Procedure

The experiment took place online. A Decision-Making survey was created using the LimeSurvey tool. The survey consisted of:

  1. the consent form that explains the study
  2. demographic questions such as academic level, major
  3. an effortful mental task (e.g., a math problem or a reading-comprehension problem from Manhattan Prep GRE book in the medium difficulty section)
  4. a set of multiple- choice questions to assess students’ cognitive and emotional reactions to the mental task
  5. a questionnaire to assess students’ level of confidence.

The questionnaire assessment of students’ confidence, anxiety, and effort were rated on a 5-point Likert scales. Two groups of participants received the same version of the Decision-Making survey with an option to complete either a math problem or a reading comprehension problem that would have taken approximately 8 minutes to complete. All participants that completed the survey, received a note at the end of the survey to thank them for their participation and to inform them of the raffle and the date they would be contacted should they win the gift card.

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