Experimentally revealed stochastic preferences for multicomponent choice options.
Journal of experimental psychology. Animal learning and cognition
American Psychological Association
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Pastor-Bernier, A., Volkmann, K., Stasiak, A., Grabenhorst, F., & Schultz, W. (2020). Experimentally revealed stochastic preferences for multicomponent choice options.. Journal of experimental psychology. Animal learning and cognition, 46 (4), 367-384. https://doi.org/10.1037/xan0000269
Realistic, everyday rewards contain multiple components. An apple has taste and size. However, we choose in single dimensions, simply preferring some apples to others. How can such single-dimensional preference relationships refer to multi-component choice options? Here, we measured how stochastic choices revealed preferences for two-component milkshakes. The preferences were intuitively graphed as indifference curves that represented the orderly integration of the two components as trade-off: parts of one component were given up for obtaining one additional unit of the other component without a change in preference. The well-ordered, non-overlapping curves satisfied leave-one-out tests, followed predictions by machine learning decoders and correlated with single-dimensional Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) auction-like bids for the two-component rewards. This accuracy suggests a decision process that integrates multiple reward components into single-dimensional estimates in a systematic fashion. In inter-species comparisons, human performance matched that of highly experienced laboratory monkeys, as measured by accuracy of the critical trade-off between bundle components. These data describe the nature of choices of multi-component choice options and attest to the validity of the rigorous economic concepts and their convenient graphic schemes for explaining choices of human and non-human primates. The results encourage formal behavioral and neural investigations of normal, irrational and pathological economic choices.
Wellcome Trust (204811/Z/16/Z)
Wellcome Trust (095495/Z/11/Z)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/xan0000269
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/308447
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