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Satisficing in split-second decision making is characterized by strategic cue discounting Beck, JM Egner, Tobias Ferrari, Silvia Oh, H Sommer, Marc A Zhu, Pingping 2016-03-11T17:19:04Z 2016-03-11T17:21:23Z 2016-03-11
dc.identifier.issn 1939-1285
dc.description.abstract Much of our real-life decision making is bounded by uncertain information, limitations in cognitive resources, and a lack of time to allocate to the decision process. It is thought that humans overcome these limitations through satisficing, fast but “good-enough” heuristic decision making that prioritizes some sources of information (cues) while ignoring others. However, the decision-making strategies we adopt under uncertainty and time pressure, for example during emergencies that demand split-second choices, are presently unknown. To characterize these decision strategies quantitatively, the present study examined how people solve a novel multi-cue probabilistic classification task under varying time pressure, by tracking shifts in decision strategies using variational Bayesian inference. We found that under low time pressure, participants correctly weighted and integrated all available cues to arrive at near-optimal decisions. With increasingly demanding, sub-second time pressures, however, participants systematically discounted a subset of the cue information by dropping the least informative cue(s) from their decision making process. Thus, the human cognitive apparatus copes with uncertainty and severe time pressure by adopting a “Drop-the-Worst” cue decision making strategy that minimizes cognitive time and effort investment while preserving the consideration of the most diagnostic cue information, thus maintaining “good-enough” accuracy. This advance in our understanding of satisficing strategies could form the basis of predicting human choices in high time pressure scenarios.
dc.publisher American Psychological Association
dc.relation.ispartof Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
dc.relation.replaces 10161/11712
dc.relation.isreplacedby 10161/13275
dc.title Satisficing in split-second decision making is characterized by strategic cue discounting
dc.type Journal article
pubs.organisational-group Basic Science Departments
pubs.organisational-group Biomedical Engineering
pubs.organisational-group Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
pubs.organisational-group Duke Science & Society
pubs.organisational-group Duke-UNC Center for Brain Imaging and Analysis
pubs.organisational-group Electrical and Computer Engineering
pubs.organisational-group Initiatives
pubs.organisational-group Institutes and Centers
pubs.organisational-group Institutes and Provost's Academic Units
pubs.organisational-group Neurobiology
pubs.organisational-group Pratt School of Engineering
pubs.organisational-group Psychology and Neuroscience
pubs.organisational-group School of Medicine
pubs.organisational-group Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
pubs.organisational-group University Institutes and Centers
pubs.publication-status Published
pubs.volume in press

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