Goal-dependent flexibility in preferences formation from rapid payoff sequences

Michael Brusovansky*, Nira Liberman, Marius Usher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The formation of attitudes or preferences for alternatives that consist of rapid numerical sequences has been suggested to reflect either a summation or an averaging principle. Previous studies indicate the presence of two mechanisms, accumulators (that mediate summation) and population-coding (that mediate averaging), which operate in preference formation tasks of rapid numerical sequences, and are subject to task-demands and individual differences. Here, we test whether participants can flexibly control the preference mechanism they deploy as a function of the reward contingency. Towards this aim, participants in two studies (N1 = 21, N2 = 23) made choices between the same sequence alternatives in two task-framing sessions, which made the reward dependent on the sequence-sum or sequence-average, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2130-2139
Number of pages10
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume72
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Decision making
  • adaptivity
  • averaging
  • flexibility
  • intuitive preferences
  • summation

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