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Stressed Out and Under Pressure: Decision-Making in the Healthcare Field

Bailee Golisch and Dr. Ellen Rozek, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, 1725 State St., La Crosse, WI 54601

Healthcare environments are universally acknowledged to be stressful with the constant need for professional decisions to occur within time-constrained, pressure-inducing environments (Wang et al., 2016). Previous research has indicated that environmental factors, such as stress, have an influence on the neural decision-making process (Papanikolaou & Palfreyman, 2013) and that there is the need for autonomous decision-making made under heavy time pressure and unclear goals within healthcare settings (Wang et al., 2016). It is in these cases that healthcare workers need to make the decision that most benefits the patient in relation to the surrounding factors, thus relying on intuitive decision-making (Marchetti et al., 2019). The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of pressure on intuitive decision-making in health-related scenarios.  
 Participants are randomly assigned into either the experimental condition (pressure) or control condition (no pressure). All participants complete a demographic questionnaire and a State Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 1962) and answer questions about four healthcare scenarios in a randomized order. Half the participants receive scenarios with a time limit to induce pressure; half complete the same scenarios without the limitation. After each scenario, participants complete several self-assessment scales: confidence, pressure, and anxiety. Lastly, participants complete a content-check to ensure comprehension of the scenarios. 
Independent t-tests will be conducted to ensure no significant differences between the participants’ characteristics in the pressure and non-pressure conditions; the participants’ responses after each scenario will be analyzed. A 4x2 ANOVA will be run with the decision time for each of the scenarios as the dependent variable and pressure as the independent variable. I hypothesize that the individuals in the pressured scenario will take less time in making decisions, with a less beneficial outcome for the patients in the scenario.  




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Bailee Golisch

Institution: University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 11
Date/Time: Wed 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 7106