Col of Family & Consumer Sci
Non Technical Summary
This project has the goal to better understand consumer financial decision-making across the lifespan. How consumers process information and make dcisions related to college education (debt), housing (renting vs. home ownership) and retirement and Social Security will be examined. Providing consumers with information and education are necessary steps, yet not sufficient to address the problem of consumer decision-making in an increasingly complicated financial world.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
Goals / Objectives
Determine motivators that affect economic decision-making in specific decision situations (housing, student loans, and Social Security) across the life-span of households
Determine barriers that affect economic decision-making in specific decision situations across the life-span of households
Determine how motivators and barriers to economic decision-making can be presented in specific decision situations across the life-span of households
Suggest strategies that can be used to improve consumer financial decision-making
This study proposes use of mixed methods to achieve its various objectives. The experimental design for each study will utilize a mixed methods approach. We will utilize both online surveys and smaller local convenience samples aimed to explore the decision making by individuals at relevant age ranges. The Research Committee will contract with an independent data collection agency to sample, collect, and clean the data for the project. This agency can randomly assign participants to different versions of the survey. These web surveys will be identical except for the treatment. This treatment could include the introduction of information to the participant, or a difference in choice architecture. Experiments of consumer decision making will also be conducted in person with small groups on participating campuses and communities. The goal of these experiements will be to observe the relationships of framing, mental accounting, and other behavioral factors on decision making. The participants will be randomly assigned to treatment group. The treatment in these experiements will be tied to the role of information as a treatment.The protocols will be the same across states and information aggregated and used to further refine the instrument and survey methodology. Development of the survey instrument will be a collaborative effort of members of the research team. Major components of the model are: socialization factors, financial knowledge, information management, resources, psychological scales, demographic and economic factors, and measures of financial behavior and decision outcomes. Descriptive analysis will be used to examine the socialization factors, decision making outcomes, lifecycle stages, financial knowledge, resources, demographic characteristics, and measures of financial behavior of the sample. Factor analysis will be used to examine the scales of the psychological constructs. Regression analysis and structural equation modeling will be used to examine the relationship among all the factors in the model of financial decision making.