280 research outputs found

    Cognitive processes, models and metaphors in decision research

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    Decision research in psychology has traditionally been influenced by the homo oeconomicus metaphor with its emphasis on normative models and deviations from the predictions of those models. In contrast, the principal metaphor of cognitive psychology conceptualizes humans as ‘information processors’, employing processes of perception, memory, categorization, problem solving and so on. Many of the processes described in cognitive theories are similar to those involved in decision making, and thus increasing cross-fertilization between the two areas is an important endeavour. A wide range of models and metaphors has been proposed to explain and describe ‘information processing ’ and many models have been applied to decision making in ingenious ways. This special issue encourages cross-fertilization between cognitive psychology and decision research by providing an overview of current perspectives in one area that continues to highlight the benefits of the synergistic approach: cognitive modeling of multi-attribute decision making. In this introduction we discuss aspects of the cognitive system that need to be considered when modeling multi-attribute decision making (e.g., automatic versus controlled processing, learning and memory constraints, metacognition) and illustrate how such aspects are incorporated into the approaches proposed by contributors to the special issue. We end by discussing the challenges posed by the contrasting and sometimes incompatible assumptions of the models and metaphors

    Take the best or look at the rest? Factors influencing "one-reason" decision making.

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    Aspects of an experimental environment were manipulated in 3 experiments to examine the parameters under which the "take-the-best" (TTB) heuristic (e.g., G. Gigerenzer & D. G. Goldstein, 1996) operates. Results indicated TTB use to be more prevalent when the cost of information was high, when validities of the cues were known, and when a deterministic environment was used. However, large individual variability in strategy use was observed as well as a significant proportion of behavior inconsistent with TTB, expecially its stopping rule. The results demarcate some of the heuristic's boundary conditions and also question the validity of TTB as a psychologically plausible and pervasive model of behavior

    Toward nonprobabilistic explanations of learning and decision-making

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    Non-categorical approaches to property induction with uncertain categories

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    Three studies examined how people make feature inferences about exemplars whose category membership is uncertain. Participants studied categorized exemplars, were given a feature of a novel item and asked to make predictions about other features. Stimuli were constructed so that different inference strategies led to divergent feature predictions. Experiments 1 and 3 found that most participants used a feature association strategy where predictions werebased on comparisons with exemplars similar to the test item. Experiment 2 showed that the dominance of feature association over categorical approaches to reasoning was not an artifact of stimulus complexity

    An evaluation and comparison of models of risky inter-temporal choice

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    Risky inter-temporal choices involve choosing between options that can differ in outcomes, their probability of receipt, and the delay until receipt. To date, there has been no attempt to systematically test, compare and evaluate theoretical models of such choices. We contribute to theory development by generating predictions from seven models for three common manipulations- magnitude, certainty and immediacy- across six different types of risky intertemporal choices. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons of model predictions to data from an experiment involving almost 4000 individual choices revealed that an attribute comparisonmodel, newly modified to incorporate risky inter-temporal choices, (the Risky Inter-Temporal Choice Heuristic or RITCH) provided the best account of the data. Results are consistent with growing evidence in support of attribute comparison models in the risky and inter-temporal choice literatures, and suggest that the relatively poorer fits of translation-based models reflect their inability to predict the differential impact of certainty and immediacy manipulations. Future theories of risky inter-temporal choice may benefit from treating risk and time as independent dimensions, and focusing on attribute-comparison rather than value-comparison processes

    Weekly reports for R.V. Polarstern expedition PS103 (2016-12-16 - 2017-02-03, Cape Town - Punta Arenas), German and English version

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    Priming is arguably one of the key phenomena in contemporary social psychology. Recent retractions and failed replication attempts have led to a division in the field between proponents and skeptics and have reinforced the importance of confirming certain priming effects through replication. In this study, we describe the results of 2 preregistered replication attempts of 1 experiment by Förster and Denzler (2012). In both experiments, participants first processed letters either globally or locally, then were tested using a typicality rating task. Bayes factor hypothesis tests were conducted for both experiments: Experiment 1(N = 100) yielded an indecisive Bayes factor of 1.38, indicating that the in-lab data are 1.38 times more likely to have occurred under the null hypothesis than under the alternative. Experiment 2 (N = 908) yielded a Bayes factor of 10.84, indicating strong support for the null hypothesis that global priming does not affect participants' mean typicality ratings. The failure to replicate this priming effect challenges existing support for the GLOMOsys model

    Ambiguity and Conflict Aversion When Uncertainty Is in the Outcomes

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    We argue that the way ambiguity has been operationalized throughout the literature on ambiguity effects has an important limitation, insofar as ambiguity in outcomes has been neglected. We report two studies where judges do encounter ambiguity in the sampled outcomes and find evidence that ambiguity aversion is not less than when judges are given a range of outcomes without reference to ambiguous outcomes themselves. This result holds regardless of whether people are presented with a sample all at once or sample outcomes sequentially. Our experiments also investigate the effects of conflicting information about outcomes, finding that conflict aversion also does not decrease. Moreover, ambiguity and conflict aversion do not seem to arise as a consequence of judges ignoring uncertain outcomes and thereby treating outcome sets as reduced samples of unambiguous (or unconflicting) information. Instead, ambiguity and conflict aversion are partly explained by more pessimistic outcome forecasts by judges. This pessimism, in turn, may be due to the judges’ uncertainty about how the chance of a desirable outcome from an ambiguous or conflictive alternative compares with an equivalent risky alternative. Both studies used hypothetical scenarios, and no incentives were provided for participants’ decisions

    Valuation and estimation from experience

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    The processing of sequentially presented numerical information is a prerequisite for decisions from experience, where people learn about potential outcomes and their associated probabilities and then make choices between gambles. Little is known, however, about how people's preference for choosing a gamble is affected by how they perceive and process numerical information. To address this, we conducted a series of experiments wherein participants repeatedly sampled numbers from continuous outcome distributions. They were incentivized either to estimate the means of the numbers or to state their minimum selling prices to forgo a consequential draw from the distributions (i.e., the certainty equivalents or valuations). We found that participants valued distributions below their means, valued high-variance sequences lower than low-variance sequences, and valued left-skewed sequences lower than right-skewed sequences. Though less pronounced, similar patterns occurred in the mean estimation task where preferences should not play a role. These results are not consistent with prior findings in decision from experience such as the overweighting of high numbers and the underweighting of rare events. Rather, the qualitative effects, as well as the similarity of effects in valuation and estimation, are consistent with the assumption that people process numbers on a compressed mental number line in valuations from experience

    I don't believe it, but I'd better do something about it: patient experiences of online 'heart age' risk calculators

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    Background: Health risk calculators are widely available on the internet, including cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk calculators that estimate the probability of a heart attack, stroke or death over a 5 or 10 year period. Some calculators convert this probability to 'heart age', where older heart age than current age indicates modifiable risk factors. These calculators may impact patient decision making about CVD risk management with or without clinician involvement, but little is known about how patients use them. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate patient experiences and understanding of online heart age calculators based on the Framingham Risk Equation used in clinical guidelines around the world. Methods: General Practitioners in New South Wales, Australia recruited 26 patients with CVD/lifestyle risk factors who were not taking cholesterol or blood pressure-lowering medication in 2012. Participants were asked to ‘think aloud’ while using two heart age calculators in random order, with semi-structured interviews before and after. Transcribed audio-recordings were coded and a Framework Analysis method was used. Results: Risk factor questions were often misinterpreted, reducing the accuracy of the calculators. Participants perceived older heart age as confronting, and younger heart age as positive but unrealistic. Unexpected or contradictory results (e.g. low percentage risk but older heart age) led participants to question the credibility of the calculators. Reasons to discredit the results included the absence of relevant lifestyle questions and impact of corporate sponsorship. However, the calculators prompted participants to consider lifestyle changes irrespective of whether they received younger, same or older heart age results. Conclusions: Online heart age calculators can be misunderstood and disregarded if they produce unexpected or contradictory results, but they may motivate lifestyle change anyway. Future research should investigate both the benefits and harms of communicating risk in this way, and how to increase the reliability and credibility of online health risk calculators.NHMR
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