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Chelsea Smith stays up all night talking to her boyfriend, putting off her studying knowing she has

an important test in the morning. She falls asleep on the phone and wakes up the next morning mad at herself and tries to cram as much studying as possible while eating breakfast. Hurrying to school, she begins to cry because if she doesnt make an A her GPA isnt where it needs to be to get into UNC Charlotte. She takes a deep breath as the teacher quickly passes out the thickly stapled test booklet. As she slides the test closer to write her name, she glances and the first question and has no idea what the answer could be. At that moment she panics, knowing an A is necessary to pass the class. Suddenly she remembers that the girl sitting beside her made a perfect one-hundred on the last test. Conveniently, she tells herself that she will make an A in the class if she can copy the girls test without the teacher seeing. With her head faced forward and eyes struggling to see her neighbors paper, she pulls her bangs in-front of her face try to cover her eyes. She sees the girl has already answered the first five questions so she immediately copies them onto her paper and continuously looks up at the teacher to make sure she isnt looking. Fortunately, the teacher is occupied on her computer making the girl feel more comfortable. She continues to peek at the girls paper and copy the answers. Finally, she gets all of the answers from the girl and waits a few minutes after her classmate turned in her paper to go turn in her own to make the situation less suspicious. She walks back to her seat with a smile on her face knowing she will make an A. The next morning, she is walking down the hallway to put her book bag in her locker when the teacher stops her to say she will be earning a zero on her test and fail the class. She begins to cry knowing her dreams of getting into her dream school are now crushed. What made her make the decision to cheat? Cindy Dietrich and Bendetto De Martino are studying the field of psychology during the modern century. Dietrich pursued her PhD in Educational Psychology at Walden University in

Minneapolis, Minnesota. Per Dietrich, past experiences, age, individual difference, cognitive biases and esculations of commitment are influences important in understanding decisions being made. Benedetto De Martino is a cognitive neuroscientist who works in the field of decision making and neuroeconomics. Martino earned his PhD at University College of London, but he currently has a research lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. His work exemplifies his research stating Amygdala activity in the brain is related to the framing effect. This leads to the idea that ones emotional system is vital in mediating decision biases. For Dietrich, heuristics serve as a framework in which satisfactory decisions are made quickly and with ease. In other words, individuals work to reduce the effort they need to expend in making decisions and heuristics offer individuals a general guide to follow, thereby reducing the effort they must disburse (Dietrich 1). However, De Martinos argument is slightly different suggesting the framing effect results from systemic biases in choice behavior arising from an affect heuristic underwritten by an emotional system (De Martino 684-687). In this paper I am going to ask question regarding influence upon decision making. Is common to ask why the school girl cheated, but as stated she wanted to make the grade to get into her dream university. However, is that the real reason? Are her parents alumni and she is pressured to get accepted? Are her parents strict about grades or is she just hard on herself? Is this situation common? According to Dietrichs statements, age could trigger cheating making her forget about the possible consequences or could it be past experiences where she has gotten away with cheating several times so she depended on it this time? On the other hand, De Martino argues an emotional state which could lead to her forgetting about everything else and doing anything possible to make the grade. I personally believe society has shifted from tradition in situations such as this. I say this because students dont showcase their own decisions in fear of

their parents, peer pressure, and self-esteem. Not saying these actions wouldnt continue to occur but not as often or out of personal decisions. From the research I have learned its difficult for anyone to make decisions of their own whether it be beneficial or not because of the constant influencing factors including past experiences and emotions.

Works Cited De Martino, Benedetto. "Frames, Biases, and Rational Decision-Making in the Human Brain." Science. 313. (2006): 684-687. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <>. Dietrich, Cindy. "Decision Making: Factors that Influence Decision Making, Heuristics Used, and Decision Outcomes." Student Pulse. 2. (2010): 1. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <>.