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Cognitive models of choice: comparing decision field theory to the proportional difference model

Rieskamp, Jörg
González-Vallejo, Claudia
Published in Cognitive Science. 2009, vol. 33, no. 5, p. 911-939
Abstract People often face preferential decisions under risk. To further our understanding of the cognitive processes underlying these preferential choices, two prominent cognitive models, decision field theory (DFT; Busemeyer & Townsend, 1993) and the proportional difference model (PD; González-Vallejo, 2002), were rigorously tested against each other. In two consecutive experiments, the participants repeatedly had to choose between monetary gambles. The first experiment provided the reference to estimate the models’ free parameters. From these estimations, new gamble pairs were generated for the second experiment such that the two models made maximally divergent predictions. In the first experiment, both models explained the data equally well. However, in the second generalization experiment, the participants’ choices were much closer to the predictions of DFT. The results indicate that the stochastic process assumed by DFT, in which evidence in favor of or against each option accumulates over time, described people’s choice behavior better than the trade-offs between proportional differences assumed by PD.
Keywords Cognitive processesDecision makingReasoningModel comparisonHuman experimentation
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SCHEIBEHENNE, Benjamin, RIESKAMP, Jörg, GONZÁLEZ-VALLEJO, Claudia. Cognitive models of choice: comparing decision field theory to the proportional difference model. In: Cognitive Science, 2009, vol. 33, n° 5, p. 911-939. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:76444

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Deposited on : 2015-10-23

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