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Presentation Master's Thesis - Nitzan Zeira - Brain & cognition

Laatst gewijzigd op 11-06-2024 13:19
The Effects of Visual Ambiguity and Time Pressure on Rule Compliance
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20-06-2024 12:00
20-06-2024 13:00

Roeterseilandcampus - Gebouw G, Straat: Nieuwe Achtergracht 129-B, Ruimte: S.02

The presented study used an internet-based task to investigate how participants’ compliance with the task’s rule is affected by the task’s visual ambiguity and time pressure during the task. In the study, a red line with varying brightness moved quickly across a bar on the screen. Participants had to click on where it lit up the brightest but earned more money by clicking further to the right, ignoring the task’s rule. The task had two levels of visual ambiguity which differed in how bright the light moving across the bar was. Furthermore, participants were either under time pressure during the task, or had to wait to respond. The experiment thus used a within-subject, 2x2 design. The study had 152 participants, all were US Americans, and with a median age of 39. The study looked at whether visual ambiguity and time pressure influence rule breaking, as well as whether the variables interact, and what is exactly the relationship of each variable with rule breaking.

The study found a significant positive effect of task ambiguity on rule breaking, meaning that with higher ambiguity participants broke the rules more. Time pressure had no significant effect in the main analysis, and neither did the interaction term. However, a non-parametric test showed that when the ambiguity was higher, time delay, rather than time pressure, increased rule breaking. The study further found that the ambiguity level and time pressure did not influence how much people chose to maximize rule breaking and monetary gains. Instead, higher ambiguity encouraged ‘rule bending’, influencing those who did not consistently break the rule. Descriptive statistics further demonstrated that when the ambiguity was lower the results were more polarized, with people either following or breaking the rule more. Thus, the results support the notion that people are intuitively rule-compliant, and may have a tendency to either highly comply with rules or consistently prioritise self-benefit. Higher visual ambiguity allows breaking away from rule compliance, and thus encourages ‘bending’ the rules for individual benefits. The presentation discusses the study and its results, thus providing a novel contribution to research on rule compliance.