Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Thomas Petros


Using a broad-based test battery (i.e., the IGT, GDT, BART, and select A-DMC subtests), the current study comprehensively assessed decision-making performance in different situations (e.g., where contingencies were and were not explicit, where the task was administered via computer and pencil-and-paper, where higher quality decision making was reflected by low risk-taking and where higher-quality decision making was reflected by higher risk-taking) in groups with BN and BED compared to each other and to controls in a sample of primarily female college students (N=111). Analyses were run to explore whether these difference could possibly be explained by differences in measures of executive function, impulsivity-related personality traits, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Contrary to the researchers predictions and despite significant between-group differences on measures of executive function, impulsivity-related personality traits, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, depression and other anxiety symptoms, no significant between-group differences were identified on measures of decision making with the exception of the A-DMC Resistance to Framing subtest on which the BN group performed significantly better than controls. It should be noted that the majority of the analyses that were run to examine decision-making performance were inadequately powered to detect between-group differences had such differences existed. Future studies should seek to replicate these findings using larger samples.