Questions tagged [decision-making]

For questions regarding the cognitive processes which result in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios.

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25
votes
2answers
799 views

Performance of a group solving a cognitive task: How does it scale?

Some intellectual, cognitive and perceptual tasks can be solved collaboratively. It is common knowledge that group performance is better than that of each single individual due to exchange of ...
22
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2answers
2k views

What tasks does Bayesian decision-making model poorly?

Bayesianism has been a relatively successful paradigm for modeling decision-making. However, not every psychologist is a bayesian, and there are tasks such as the Tversky & Shafir (1992) ...
20
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2answers
2k views

What are popular rationalist responses to Tversky & Shafir?

In the early 90s Tversky & Shafir observed several violations of rationality in human participants, in particular violation of the disjunction effect and sure-thing principle. This has lead to ...
18
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3answers
7k views

What is the term for human beings' tendency to obey without thinking?

I'm wanting to read more about a certain human behavior, but I am not sure what the proper term for it is, so some of the things I am finding aren't what I am looking for. I'm interested in how Humans ...
18
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3answers
28k views

What is the term for when too many choices results in inability to decide?

A common problem is that when offered too many choices, consumers give up and make no choice. Too many options results in no sale where fewer options might have resulted in more sales. It's like the ...
18
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2answers
3k views

Thinking, Fast and Slow vs. Mindfulness vs. Flow

I've been wondering how dual-process theory, which is described in Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking, Fast and Slow", relates to mindfulness and the state of being in the present moment and the flow ...
13
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3answers
453 views

Is there a random walk theory that can account for situations with more than two choices?

In the article "Two-stage Dynamic Signal Detection: A Theory of Choice, Decision Time, and Confidence" from 2010 by Pleskac and Busemeyer, a random walk model is presented for situations where a ...
13
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2answers
3k views

Game-theory strategies to overcome holdout problem?

The hold-out problem often occurs in debt-restructuring or in urban development. The hold-out problem is defined where an agent, for example a land developer, must negotiate with many lot owners and ...
13
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1answer
603 views

What are the negative effects of meditation?

I see lots of articles touting the benefits of meditation. But what are the bad things about it? Maybe if a person has to make quick decisions, meditation would not be a good thing? This could be ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Is Decision-Making Emotionally Based, with Rationalization as the only Conscious Component?

My interest is in how problem-solving decisions are made, and what, if any skills could be taught to increase people's ability to make effective decisions? Effective, in this case, means that an ...
12
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1answer
227 views

How does displaying existing votes to a poll influence subsequent voting behaviour?

Some polls involve a question where the existing votes received for each response option are displayed. I have heard that on such polls the existing votes influence the answers provided by subsequent ...
12
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1answer
288 views

What processes underlies confidence ratings in cognitive decision-making?

Many experiments in cognitive psychology and other domains ask for confidence ratings (e.g., on a 0-100 scale, 100 meaning "I'm sure I experienced this stimulus"). What accounts describe how these ...
12
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2answers
168 views

What decision problems are better answered with analytic thinking, and what are better answered with intuition?

Most Western philosophy and psychology argue that deliberating carefully and rationally is the right way of reaching a decision. "Don't let emotions turn you" they might say. The splitting of the mind ...
11
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1answer
295 views

What constructs help explain limited cognitive processing and the cognitive effects of rules that limit decision making choices?

Supposed that I'm a married man, and my wife asks me to pick out a paint color for our new house. It's not terribly mentally taxing. However, my wife starts to add rules. The color can't be too bright,...
11
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3answers
247 views

What cognitive strategies diminish bias in decision-making beyond those outlined by Larrick?

Larrick (2004; pdf) offers a small number of suggestions for strategies to diminish bias in decision making, which he breaks down into four categories. "Consider the opposite". Tell decision-makers ...
11
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3answers
612 views

Why do people feel the need to make changes to a solution presented by another person?

There is an interesting phenomenon I have come across several times when working with groups, and that is the need some people have to make changes to a solution that someone else created. The ...
11
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1answer
199 views

Bias towards purchasing tangible vs virtual goods

People may have very little hesitation in spending $3 on a coffee once a week, but when it comes to buying things online, such as virtual goods or services, they are often much more reluctant. Is ...
10
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2answers
20k views

Basis for "we make 35,000 decisions a day" statistic

In an advertisement by Microsoft for their To-Do product they use a statistic that we "make over 35,000" decisions a day. Unsurprisingly, they don't cite a source. Is there any scholarly basis for ...
10
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2answers
201 views

Who first used the term 'heuristic' in a cognitive science context?

I seem to recall that Herbert Simon borrowed the term from computer science, but I cannot remember the initial paper in which he made use of this borrowing. A google scholar search reveals some ...
10
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2answers
4k views

What are “Stimulus locked” and “Response locked” in Philiastides & Sajda (2006)

While going through the below-mentioned paper, I came across some plots which were said to be "locked" with reference to either response or stimulus. Does the locking refer to the initiation of the ...
10
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1answer
212 views

When is higher confidence predictive of less accuracy?

Normally, when an individual is more confident in a particular response (e.g., memory decision, general knowledge answer), he or she is also more likely to be accurate. There are also studies in which ...
10
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2answers
2k views

What are the characteristics that make complex problem solving complex?

In real-world problem-solving tasks that many people call "complex" (like flying a jet, programming, fixing a car, fighting a fire - the type investigated by the naturalistic decision making community)...
9
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3answers
1k views

Why prefer "99% fat free" to "1% fat"?

In my experience I tend to find low-fat products labelled as "99% fat free" much more often than the equivalent "1% fat".* Why is this so? To me it seems counter-intuitive, because it reminds me of ...
9
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3answers
6k views

Why do people press elevator call buttons repeatedly?

Many people, particularly those in a rush, keep on pressing the elevator call button despite the light clearly indicating that it was previously pressed, and the knowledge that such action will have ...
9
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2answers
291 views

Do people estimate combined probabilities differently to uncombined ones?

Suppose, somebody has to estimate the likelihood of one of the following events (or has to estimate which event is more likely): A coin is tossed six times and each time the result is heads. (...
9
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1answer
228 views

Appropriate metric(s) for quantifying the accuracy gain obtained from averaging dyads of estimates instead of adopting individual estimates?

Background The question relates to research I am doing into the Wisdom of Crowds effect (Galton, 1907; Page, 2007; Surowiecki, 2004), in which an average of the estimates made by individuals proves ...
9
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1answer
223 views

When faced with a choice and trying to make a quick decision, are 2 options better than 3 or more options?

Bastardi & Shafir (1998) show how too much data disabilitates your decision making. There is also the popular Paradox Of Choice argument. However, I can't find a reference stating that, when ...
8
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3answers
349 views

Why do some people seem to disregard the choice of doing nothing (The Zero Choice)?

In many areas of life we have a choice between multiple options: if we are hungry and we want to go out to eat, we have a number of places to choose from (McDonalds, etc). However, we also still have ...
8
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2answers
334 views

Where are scientific references for the claims made in "Thinking Fast and Slow"

I am currently reading fast and slow and the author mentions the results of a lot of studies. However, these are not directly cited, although some can possibly be googled with the information given. ...
8
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1answer
202 views

Problem understanding the calculation of normative (Bayesian) base rates

I am having trouble understanding Table 1 of Gigerenzer, Hell, and Blank (1988, PDF, table on page 516): Focusing on the Jack row, it is stated that the mean probabilities of Jack being an engineer ...
8
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1answer
155 views

Are emotions needed to make decisions?

Oprah.com says: It turns out, though, that for most people there is no such thing as a purely rational self. Decision making is intrinsically linked to our emotions, so much so that when a person ...
8
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0answers
213 views

How do people choose at random?

This question is inspired by one asked at MathOverflow. (These questions at Cognitive Sciences and at Cross Validated might also be relevant.) Are there any studies on what choices humans commonly ...
7
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4answers
252 views

Research on "probabilistic thinking" in non-human animals?

We all seem to have a "probabilistic sense", which manifests itself in certain types of expectations (e.g. even if one has never used a bow to shoot an arrow, one expects that hitting a small target ...
7
votes
3answers
933 views

What is the mechanism behind "gut feelings"?

I'm thinking of a phenomenon that I've first observed in myself when taking an IQ test. Upon looking at the question, I selected an answer, but got this "gut feeling" or a hint that something was ...
7
votes
1answer
107 views

A study about preference for making relatively vs. absolute more money?

I remember reading about a study. I forgot the actual details of it, but the gist of it was: people were asked in what situation they would prefer to live, one where they make \$100,000 dollars and ...
7
votes
2answers
552 views

Behaviorist interpretations of decision field theory

Decision field theory is usually presented as a dynamic cognitive model of decision making. However, in its basic form, the theory seems to only be concerned with behavior (decisions) and stimuli (...
7
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2answers
126 views

System 1 and unconsious

Kahneman (2011) apparently suggests there is system 1 and system 2 in decision making. If I am not wrong he says system 1 is more prone to errors because it is automatic. Is this correct assumption ...
7
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0answers
94 views

Is Autism associated with an increased drowning risk for adults?

I have found several popular articles (e.g. ScienceDaily, The Globe and Mail, and WebMD) indicating that children with Autism have a significantly elevated risk of drowning. The general theory seems ...
6
votes
11answers
429 views

What experiment in a simple decision task should we run to obtain one million trials?

Context: Models of cognitive processes require very large datasets to be fitted. Sadly, it is difficult for a single laboratory to achieve this alone. I propose that we work collectively and ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

Does limiting one's trivial decisions free more energy for bigger decisions?

I've read a number of times that "successful" people limit the number of trivial decisions they make on a day-to-day basis in order to have more energy for bigger decisions. A common example cited (e....
6
votes
1answer
109 views

Does the subconscious mind communicate its analysis through emotions?

I'm reading this article by Marianne Cantwell, in the middle of the article, she quotes Jonah Lehrer's book How We Decide: “When a person is drawn to a specific item on the menu or a particular ...
6
votes
1answer
332 views

What is the fear/paralysis that occurs before doing an irreversible action?

I often experience paralysis in the face of an irreversible decision or action. What is the term for this or what is it that I'm looking for to describe it and/or research it? Some examples of this ...
6
votes
1answer
308 views

What are the underlying mechanisms for optimism bias?

I have asked a question before about how does smoker's decision react to new personal health information. Link here. How do people estimate smoking's impact on their mortality? Now I have a ...
6
votes
1answer
422 views

Are people more likely to pick the odd one out?

I was wondering if there has been any research to suggest that when given a list of options to choose from, people are more likely to pick an option if it looks different to the other options? My ...
6
votes
1answer
88 views

Why can't subjective utilities take probabilities into account?

If my understanding of expected utility theory is correct, it is rational for a decision maker to have subjective utilities for objective consequences. For example, it can be rational for a ...
6
votes
1answer
526 views

Why is Mr. Monk unsure?

One of the funniest and most psychologically intriguing characters on TV (in my opinion) is Adrian Monk. If you don't know who he is, I highly recommend watching the TV show. It's called "Monk&...
6
votes
1answer
250 views

Psychopaths' Response to Expected Losses?

It has been observed that psychopaths will accept positive expected values past some sort of notion of risk aversion by non-psychopaths. Are there any observations of psychopaths' responses to ...
6
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0answers
116 views

Bayesian models of conspiracy theorists

Are there any theories in cognitive psychology that try to model the belief in conspiracy theories through the lens of Bayesian decision theory? For reference, in Bayesian decision theory a rational ...
6
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0answers
250 views

Online datasets for the disjunction effect and violations of the sure-thing principle

The disjunction effect (or violation of the sure-thing principle) is as follows: A dis­junc­tion effect occurs when peo­ple pre­fer x over y when they know that event A obtains, and they also pre­...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do some people refuse to wear their seat belt while being aware of the risks?

I have multiple friends that simply refuse to wear their seat belt whenever they ride in a car. I make them wear it when in my car, but in any other situation they choose to go without it. They are ...