Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Dr. Subhashish Samaddar

Second Advisor

Dr. Edward Miles

Third Advisor

Dr. John Carton

Abstract

Seldom if ever has there been such a sudden shift in a society’s reading medium (the last time was from parchment to paper). The current migration is from on paper reading (OPR) to reading on electronic screen (OSR). Many studies and several meta-analyses show varied results in comparing OPR and OSR, and for most metrics OPR may be superior, depending on the subject area of the text. Only one other known study compared OPR to OSR regarding financial material.

To test whether or not reading financial material on screen or on paper affects the reader’s decision making, we ran an experiment. We announced the experiment as a test of the reader’s financial literacy as it relates to the reader’s age. However, the actual dependent variables of interest were the readers’ self-reported trust and risk tolerance measurements accompanying the financial literacy scenarios and questions. Subjects (N=212) recruited via Amazon MTurk were given the test instrument either via onscreen or on paper (with the print version not previewed onscreen ahead of printing).

The hierarchical regression analysis results showed that the reading medium had no effect (at p < .05) on the subjects self-reported trust, but reading medium had an effect on risk tolerance, with OSR showing significantly more risk tolerance than OPR (at p < .01). This increased risk tolerance with OSR was most pronounced in the younger ages (18-34 years). Also shown were mixed results on the relationship of trust to age (at p < .05), but that risk tolerance was negatively related to age (at p < .05). Trust and risk results by gender differences were not statistically significant (at p < .05). These results show that the reading medium makes a difference in risk tolerance, with OSR being higher in risk than OPR.

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