Modeling decision making behavior has challenged economist and psychologist alike. This study uses data from the game show Deal or No Deal from the Netherlands, Germany, United States to study the factors that influence decision making. Each decision on the show is the choice between a definite amount offered by a “banker” or the choice to continue playing in hopes of winning more money, much like a stock option holder’s decision to exercise their option. Using a model similar to one that was used to determine the psychological factors that affected stock option exercise activity, this study seeks to find what drives the decisions on the show. The findings are that the bank offers are not significant, however, the percent of the expected value of the bank offer is. This suggests that players are viewing their choice in a complex manner, expanding the influences outside of the offer and what is expected if they keep playing. The results of how contestants play in comparison to one another varied across countries in significance, indicating that cultural difference may play a role in decision making behavior.
The 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan shocked countries into reconsidering the safety of nuclear power. Although, the majority of the world continued business as usual after, Germany decided to eliminate nuclear as a power source altogether. The policy to phase-out nuclear power was the result of four decades of struggle between the pro-nuclear coalition, made up primarily of the CDU and the nuclear power industry, and the anti-nuclear coalition, made up of the anti-nuclear movement and the green party. I used the MACF to explain, why after so many years of struggle, the nuclear phase-out policy was finally put in place. The MACF combines two policy development frameworks: the advocacy coalition framework (Sabatier 1988) and the Environmental Movement Impact Model (Rucht 1999). The framework explains that Germany’s nuclear phase-out was not an impulsive decision, but a drawn out battle between the pro- and anti-nuclear coalitions, which was affected by a variety of external shocks including three nuclear disasters as well as the development of as strong anti-nuclear movement.