Choosing Credit Cards

Not recruiting at this time

Project title

The Complexity of Choosing a Credit Card  (HREC 25383)


This research aims to investigate how people choose credit cards, identify key factors that make choosing a credit card difficult, and develop a framework that systematically quantifies the complexity of the credit card choice problem. We hope that the results of this research can improve consumer decision-making in the real world.

This research is funded by the University of Melbourne.

What will I be asked to do?

Should you agree to participate the experiment will take approximately 1.5 hours, and you will be paid a show-up fee of $10 plus a fixed $5 fee for completing the entire experiment plus a reward amount that will be calculated based on your overall performance in the experiment. Your overall performance will be determined by the total number of correct choices you have made in the experiment. The expected reward is $15 and the expected payout is $30 (= $10 show-up fee plus a fixed $5 fee for completing the entire experiment plus $15 expected reward).

The experiment will be separated into two parts, and only the first part will involve eye tracking where an eye tracking device will be used to monitor your pupil size and eye movements.

In the first part, you will be asked to solve a series of credit card choice problems. For each problem, you will be given a set of spending and repayment schedules and some credit card options. The credit card options will have different interest rates and annual fees. Your task will be to choose the credit card option that has the lowest annual borrowing cost from the available options. You will then be asked to provide a subjective rating of the difficulty level of each credit card choice problem.

In the second part, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire that includes a demographic survey, an end-of-experiment survey, questions about your credit card usage history, and a set of tests for numeracy, risk literacy, financial literacy, and debt literacy.

You will need a valid Australian PayID to be able to participate and to be paid for your participation.

  • You must be at least 18 years of age at the time of participating in this study
  • You have no vision problems such as blurred vision or cataract
  • If you wear prescription glasses to correct your vision, you will bring and wear your own clear contact lenses on the day of the experiment. You cannot wear glasses in this experiment.

How will my confidentiality be protected?

This is a de-identified study. We will protect the confidentiality of your responses to the fullest possible extent, within the limits of the law. Only de-identified participant codes will be used in storage of the data; identifying information is used only for payment purposes, and the link between identity and participant codes is kept separately from the data that will be collected in this experiment. All digital data will be stored securely on the University’s cloud-based drive for a minimum of five years after project completion. All non-digital data will be destroyed within 5 years after project completion. If a hardcopy document includes potentially sensitive information that is not directly related to this research (such as payment information), it will be destroyed 3 months after you have received the full payment from this experiment.

How will I receive feedback?

Results of the study will be available from the researchers’ websites, be presented at conferences and be published in peer-reviewed journals.

Will participation prejudice me in any way?

Please be advised that your participation in this study is completely voluntary. Should you wish to withdraw at any stage, or withdraw any unprocessed data you have supplied, you are free to do so without prejudice, and receive $10. Any potential conflicts of interest arising if you are a student of the above researchers will not affect your grades in any way.

Where can I get further information?

Should you require any further information, or have any concerns regarding the conduct of this research, please contact the researchers on 03 9035 9950 .

This project follows the guidelines of the National Health and Medical Research Council Statement on Human Experimentation, and has been approved by: Human Research Ethics Committee, The University of Melbourne.

If you wish to contact someone independent of the study about ethical issues or your rights, or if you have any concerns or complaints relating to your participation in the study, you may contact: The Executive Officer, Human Research Ethics Committee, The University of Melbourne (phone: 03 8344 2073, fax: 03 9347 6739).

How do I agree to participate?

Thank you for your interest, however we are not recruiting for this study at this time. Please check back on our recruitment page for more studies opening in the coming weeks.

Human ethics approval

This study has been approved by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee (project ID: HREC 25383).

Centre for Brain, Mind and Markets
Department of Finance
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 9035 9950