Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Meredith Carroll

Second Advisor

Deborah S. Carstens

Third Advisor

Michael A. Gallo

Fourth Advisor

Siddhartha Bhattacharyya


The purpose of the current research study was two-fold. First, the study examined the effect of payload type on the riskiness of weather-related decision-making in a simulated urban air mobility (UAM) environment. Second, the current study examined whether framing information using prospect theory (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979) could influence the riskiness of weather-related decision-making in a simulated UAM environment. In the context of the current study, riskiness referred to the risk associated with the decision outcome, specifically whether participants selected a risk-averse decision outcome (return to the departure site) or risk-seeking decision outcome (continue to the destination site) based on the weather conditions in the scenario. The payload type was defined as whether there were cargo or passengers onboard and served as a manipulation of the construct of utility. Payload was not found to impact whether participants made a more risk-averse or risk-seeking decision; however, when asked the degree to which they agreed with their decision to continue or return, there was a significant effect of payload type on their response with participants on average agreeing to divert with passenger payload and to neither agree to divert nor continue with cargo as payload. Frame had a significant influence on the riskiness of decision outcomes. Participants were found to be more risk-seeking (continuing to the destination site more) for loss-framed scenarios and more risk-averse (returning to the departure site more) for gain-framed scenarios. Limitations, implications, and recommendations are discussed.


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