Wang & Navarro-Martinez (2023)

Increasing the external validity of social preference games by reducing measurement error

[Paper] [Data]

An increasing number of studies call into question the external validity of social preference games. In this paper, we show that these games have a low correlation with single pro-social behaviors in the field, but this correlation can be substantially increased by aggregating behaviors to reduce measurement error. We tracked people’s daily pro-social behaviors for 14 days using a day reconstruction method; the same people played three different social preference games on seven different occasions. We show that, as more pro-social behaviors and game rounds are...

Wamsley et al. (2023)

Memory Consolidation during Ultra-Short Offline States

[Paper] [Data]

Traditionally, neuroscience and psychology have studied the human brain during periods of “online” attention to the environment, while participants actively engage in processing sensory stimuli. But emerging evidence shows that the waking brain also intermittently enters an “offline” state, during which sensory processing is inhibited and our attention shifts inward. In fact, humans may spend up to half of their waking hours offline (Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010; Wamsley & Summer, 2020). The function of alternating between online and offline forms of...

Nussenbaum et al. (2023)

Novelty and uncertainty differentially drive exploration across development

[Paper] [Data]

Across the lifespan, individuals frequently choose between exploiting known rewarding options or exploring unknown alternatives. A large body of work has suggested that children may explore more than adults. However, because novelty and reward uncertainty are often correlated, it is unclear how they differentially influence decision-making across development. Here, children, adolescents, and adults (ages 8-27 years, N = 122) completed an adapted version of a recently developed value-guided decision-making task that decouples novelty and uncertainty. In line with...

Poli et al. (2023)

Exploration in 4-year-old children is guided by learning progress and novelty

[Paper] [Data]

Humans are driven by an intrinsic motivation to learn, but the developmental origins of curiosity-driven exploration remain unclear. We investigated the computational principles guiding 4-year-old children’s exploration during a touchscreen game (N=102, F=49, M=53). Children guessed the location of characters that were hiding behind a hedge following predictable (yet noisy) patterns. Children could freely switch characters, which allowed us to quantify when they decided to explore something different and what they chose to explore. Bayesian modelling of...

Bolenz & Pachur (2023)

Older adults select different but not simpler strategies than younger adults in risky choice

[Paper] [Data]

Younger and older adults differ in their risky choices. Theoretical frameworks on human aging point to various cognitive and motivational factors that might underlie these differences. Using a novel computational model based on resource rationality, we find that the two age groups select qualitatively different strategies. Importantly, older adults did not use simpler strategies than younger adults, they did not select among fewer strategies, they did not make more errors, and they did not put more weight on cognitive costs. Instead, older adults selected strategies...

Garrett & Sharot (2023)

There is no belief update bias for neutral events: failure to replicate Burton et al. (2022)

[Paper] [Data]

In a recent paper, Burton et al. claim that individuals update beliefs to a greater extent when learning an event is less likely compared to more likely than expected. Here, we investigate Burton’s et al.’s, findings. First, we show how Burton et al.’s data do not in fact support a belief update bias for neutral events. Next, in an attempt to replicate their findings, we collect a new data set employing the original belief update task design, but with neutral events. A belief update bias for neutral events is not observed. Finally, we highlight the statistical errors...

Palmer et al. (2023)

The near-miss effect in online slot machine gambling: A series of conceptual replications

[Paper] [Data]

Objective: Near-misses are a structural characteristic of gambling products that can be engineered within modern digital games. Over a series of pre-registered experiments using an online slot machine simulation, we investigated the impact of near-miss outcomes, on subjective ratings (motivation, valence) and two behavioural measures (speed of gambling, bet size).Method: Participants were recruited using Prolific and gambled on an online 3-reel slot machine simulator that delivered a 1 in 3 rate of X-X-O near-misses. Study 1 measured trial-by-trial subjective ratings of...

Jenkins et al. (2023)

Assessing processing-based measures of implicit statistical learning

[Paper] [Data]

Implicit statistical learning, whereby predictable relationships between stimuli are detected without conscious awareness, is important for language acquisition. However, while this process is putatively implicit, it is often assessed using measures that require explicit reflection and conscious decision making. Here, we conducted three experiments combining an artificial grammar learning paradigm with a serial reaction time (SRT-AGL) task, to measure statistical learning of adjacent and nonadjacent dependencies implicitly, without conscious decision making....

Finke et al. (2023)

Pupil dilation tracks divergent learning processes in aware versus unaware Pavlovian conditioning

[Paper] [Data]

Evidence regarding unaware differential fear conditioning in humans is mixed and even less is known about the effects of contingency awareness on appetitive conditioning. Phasic pupil dilation responses (PDR) might be more sensitive for capturing implicit learning than other measures, such as skin conductance responses (SCR). Here, we report data from two delay conditioning experiments utilizing PDR (alongside SCR and subjective assessments) to investigate the role of contingency awareness in aversive and appetitive conditioning. In both experiments, valence of...

Ji & MacLeod (2023)

Investigating the role of action-contingent expectancy biases in dysphoria-linked activity engagement behavioural choice

[Paper] [Data]

Reduced tendency to engage in potentially rewarding activities is a hallmark of depression. The present study investigated the role of future expectancy biases in depression-linked behavioural choice, in participants varying in self-reported depression symptoms (dysphoria). A novel laboratory paradigm was developed to test the hypotheses that the degree to which higher dysphoria is associated with reduced tendency to engage in a potentially rewarding activity is dependent on the presence of negative biases in the expected outcomes of activity engagement. Specifically,...

Sadeghi et al. (2023)

Wrinkles in subsecond time perception are synchronized to the heart

[Paper] [Data]

The role of the heart in the experience of time has been long theorized but empirical evidence is scarce. Here, we examined the interaction between fine-grained cardiac dynamics and the momentary experience of subsecond intervals. Participants performed a temporal bisection task for brief tones (80-188 ms) synchronized with the heart. We developed a cardiac Drift-Diffusion Model (cDDM) that embedded contemporaneous heart rate dynamics into the temporal decision model. Results revealed the existence of temporal wrinkles-dilation or contraction of short intervals-in...

Zhang et al. (2023)

Similar failures of consideration arise in human and machine planning

[Paper] [Data]

Humans are remarkably efficient at decision-making, even in “open-ended’’ problems where the set of possible actions is too large for exhaustive evaluation. Our success relies, in part, on efficient processes of calling to mind and considering the right candidate actions for evaluation. When this process fails, however, the result is a kind of cognitive puzzle in which the value of a solution or action would be obvious as soon as it is considered, but never gets considered in the first place. Recently, machine learning (ML) architectures have attained or even exceeded...

del-Rio et al. (2023)

Perceptual confirmation bias and decision bias underlie adaptation to sequential regularities

[Paper] [Data]

Our perception does not depend exclusively on the immediate sensory input. It is also influenced by our internal predictions derived from prior observations and the temporal regularities of the environment, which can result in choice history biases. However, the mechanisms facilitating this flexible use of prior information to predict the future are unclear. Prior information may offset evidence accumulation independently of the current sensory input, or it may modulate the weight of current sensory input based on its consistency with the expectation. To address this...

Grill et al. (2023)

Development and validation of an open-access online Behavioral Avoidance Test (BAT) for spider fear

[Paper] [Data]

The Behavioral Avoidance Test (BAT) for spider phobia is a widely-used diagnostic tool assessing fear by measuring avoidance behavior. However, BATs require considerable preparation and different BAT protocols across studies hamper result comparability. To address this, we have developed an open-access online BAT (vBATon). We validated its efficacy in measuring avoidance and eliciting anxiety/disgust by comparing it to a real-life BAT. Spider-fearful (N = 31) and non-fearful (N = 31) individuals completed both tests on separate dates. Both tests...

Ivanov et al. (2023)

Reliability of individual differences in distractor suppression driven by statistical learning

[Paper] [Data]

A series of recent studies has demonstrated that attentional selection is modulated by statistical regularities, even when they concern task-irrelevant stimuli. Irrelevant distractors presented more frequently at one location interfere less with search than distractors presented elsewhere. To account for this finding, it has been proposed that through statistical learning, the frequent distractor location becomes suppressed relative to the other locations. Learned distractor suppression has mainly been studied at the group level, where individual differences are treated...

Smith et al. (2023)

Social reward processing and decision making in younger and older adults

[Paper] [Data]

Behavioural and neuroimaging research has shown that older adults are less sensitive to financial losses compared to younger adults. Yet relatively less is known about age-related differences in social decisions and social reward processing. As part of a pilot study that was sponsored by the Scientific Research Network on Decision Neuroscience and Aging, we collected behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 50 participants (Younger: N = 26, ages 18–34 years; Older: N = 24, ages 63–80 years) who completed three tasks in the...

Zhou et al. (2023)

The social transmission of empathy relies on observational reinforcement learning

[Paper] [Data]

Theories of moral development propose that empathy is transmitted across individuals, yet the mechanism through which empathy is socially transmitted remains unclear. We conducted three studies to investigate whether, and if so, how observing empathic responses in others affects the empathy of the observer. Our results show that observing empathic or non-empathic responses generates learning signals that respectively increases or decreases empathy ratings of the observer and alters empathy-related responses in the anterior insula (AI), i.e., the same region that...

Brooks & Sokol-Hessner (2023)

Cognitive strategy use selectively changes temporal context effects in risky monetary decision-making

[Paper] [Data]

Some of the most influential modern theories of risky monetary decision-making assume that choices result from stable, trait-like preferences, invariant to contextual influences such as recent events. Recent research has challenged this assumption, demonstrating that even when values and probabilities are explicit and known, decisions under risk are contextually sensitive, affected by recent events on multiple timescales, including immediate (previous monetary outcomes), neighborhood (recently encountered values), and global (cumulative earnings relative to dynamic...

Linka et al. (2023)

Free viewing biases for complex scenes in preschoolers and adults

[Paper] [Data]

AbstractAdult gaze behaviour towards naturalistic scenes is highly biased towards semantic object classes. Little is known about the ontological development of these biases, nor about group-level differences in gaze behaviour between adults and preschoolers. Here, we let preschoolers (n = 34, age 5 years) and adults (n = 42, age 18–59 years) freely view 40 complex scenes containing objects with different semantic attributes to compare their fixation behaviour. Results show that preschool children allocate a significantly smaller proportion of dwell time and...

Amsalem et al. (2023)

The effect of load on spatial statistical learning

[Paper] [Data]

Statistical learning (SL), the extraction of regularities embedded in the environment, is often viewed as a fundamental and effortless process. However, whether spatial SL requires resources, or it can operate in parallel to other demands, is still not clear. To examine this issue, we tested spatial SL using the standard lab experiment under concurrent demands: high- and low-cognitive load (Experiment 1) and, spatial memory load (Experiment 2) during the familiarization phase. We found that any type of high-load demands during the familiarization abolished learning....

Zorowitz et al. (2023c)

Improving the reliability of the Pavlovian go/no-go task

[Paper] [Data]

Background: The Pavlovian go/no-go task is commonly used to measure individual differences in Pavlovian biases and their interaction with instrumental learning. However, prior research has found suboptimal reliability for computational model-based performance measures for this task, limiting its usefulness in individual-differences research. These studies did not make use of several strategies previously shown to enhance task-measure reliability (e.g., task gamification, hierarchical Bayesian modeling for model estimation). Here we investigated if such approaches...

Yamaguchi & Swainson (2023)

What determines a task-switch cost after selectively inhibiting a response?

[Paper] [Data]

The task-switch cost is one of the most robust phenomena, but it can disappear after nogo trials where the actors decide not to respond to the target. According to the response-selection account, it is the occurrence of response selection that generates a task-switch cost on the following trial. The present study used a variety of selective go/nogo procedures to investigate whether response selection on nogo trials is followed by a switch cost. The first two experiments aimed to replicate previous studies in which go/nogo trials could be distinguished either...

Friehs et al. (2023)

No effects of 1 Hz offline TMS on performance in the stop-signal game

[Paper] [Data]

Stopping an already initiated action is crucial for human everyday behavior and empirical evidence points toward the prefrontal cortex playing a key role in response inhibition. Two regions that have been consistently implicated in response inhibition are the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the more superior region of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The present study investigated the effect of offline 1 Hz transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the right IFG and DLPFC on performance in a gamified stop-signal task (SSG). We hypothesized that...

Barretto-Garcia et al. (2023)

Individual risk attitudes arise from noise in neurocognitive magnitude representations

[Paper] [Data]

Humans are generally risk averse, preferring smaller certain over larger uncertain outcomes. Economic theories usually explain this by assuming concave utility functions. Here, we provide evidence that risk aversion can also arise from relative underestimation of larger monetary payoffs, a perceptual bias rooted in the noisy logarithmic coding of numerical magnitudes. We confirmed this with psychophysics and functional magnetic resonance imaging, by measuring behavioural and neural acuity of magnitude representations during a magnitude perception task and relating these...

Cotton et al. (2023)

The effects of mind-wandering, cognitive load and task engagement on working memory performance in remote online experiments

[Paper] [Data]

Recent events have led to a change in environments from in-person to remote work for many people. This change presents several issues for work, education, and research, particularly related to cognitive performance, as the remote environment may have more distractors. An increase in distraction is one factor that may lead to increases in mind-wandering and disengagement with the task at hand, whether it is a virtual meeting, an online lecture or a psychological experiment. The present study investigated effects of mind-wandering and multitasking during working memory...

Komar et al. (2023)

The animacy effect on free recall is equally large in mixed and pure word lists or pairs

[Paper] [Data]

The cognitive mechanisms underlying the animacy effect on free recall have as yet to be identified. According to the attentional-prioritization account, animate words are better recalled because they recruit more attention at encoding than inanimate words. The account implies that the animacy effect should be larger when animate words are presented together with inanimate words in mixed lists or pairs than when animate and inanimate words are presented separately in pure lists or pairs. The present series of experiments served to systematically test whether list...

Molinaro & Collins (2023)

Intrinsic rewards explain context-sensitive valuation in reinforcement learning

[Paper] [Data]

When observing the outcome of a choice, people are sensitive to the choice’s context, such that the experienced value of an option depends on the alternatives: getting $1 when the possibilities were 0 or 1 feels much better than when the possibilities were 1 or 10. Context-sensitive valuation has been documented within reinforcement learning (RL) tasks, in which values are learned from experience through trial and error. Range adaptation, wherein options are rescaled according to the range of values yielded by available options, has been proposed to account for this...

Sakamoto & Miyoshi (2023)

A confidence framing effect: Flexible use of evidence in metacognitive monitoring

[Paper] [Data]

Human behavior is flexibly regulated in accordance with specific goals of cognitive tasks. One notable instance is the goal-directed modulation of human metacognitive behavior, where logically equivalent decision-making problems can yield different patterns of introspective confidence depending on the frame in which they are presented. While this observation highlights the important heuristic nature of metacognitive monitoring, the computational mechanisms of this phenomenon remain elusive. Using a two-alternative dot-number discrimination task, we aimed to investigate...

Zika et al. (2023)

Trait anxiety is associated with hidden state inference during aversive reversal learning

[Paper] [Data]

Updating beliefs in changing environments can be driven by gradually adapting expectations or by relying on inferred hidden states (i.e. contexts), and changes therein. Previous work suggests that increased reliance on context could underly fear relapse phenomena that hinder clinical treatment of anxiety disorders. We test whether trait anxiety variations in a healthy population influence how much individuals rely on hidden-state inference. In a Pavlovian learning task, participants observed cues that predicted an upcoming electrical shock with repeatedly changing...

Abeles et al. (2023)

Initial motor skill performance predicts future performance, but not learning

[Paper] [Data]

People show vast variability in skill performance and learning. What determines a person’s individual performance and learning ability? In this study we explored the possibility to predict participants’ future performance and learning, based on their behavior during initial skill acquisition. We recruited a large online multi-session sample of participants performing a sequential tapping skill learning task. We used machine learning to predict future performance and learning from raw data acquired during initial skill acquisition, and from engineered features calculated...

Marzuki et al. (2023)

Compulsive avoidance in youths and adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder: An aversive Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer study

[Paper] [Data]

BackgroundCompulsive behaviour is often triggered by Pavlovian cues. Assessing how Pavlovian cues drive instrumental behaviour in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is therefore crucial to understand how compulsions develop and are maintained. An aversive Pavlovian-to-Instrumental transfer (PIT) paradigm, particularly one involving avoidance/cancellation of negative outcomes, can enable such investigation and has not previously been studied in clinical-OCD. MethodsForty-one participants diagnosed with OCD (21 adults; 20 youths) and 44 controls (21 adults; 23...

Zetsche et al. (2023)

Computerized cognitive training to reduce rumination in major depression: A randomized controlled trial

[Paper] [Data]

Objective: Rumination is a well-known risk factor for the onset and recurrence of depressive episodes. Depressed individuals with a tendency to ruminate have been found to exhibit deficits in updating the contents of working memory. Thus, working memory training targeting updating-specific cognitive control processes may bear the potential to reduce ruminative tendencies. This registered clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03011216) examined the effect of training cognitive control on rumination in the daily lives of clinically depressed individuals.Methods:...

de-Waard et al. (2023)

Statistical learning of distractor locations is dependent on task context

[Paper] [Data]

Through statistical learning, humans can learn to suppress visual areas that often contain distractors. Recent findings suggest that this form of learned suppression is insensitive to context, putting into question its real-life relevance. The current study presents a different picture: we show context-dependent learning of distractor-based regularities. Unlike previous studies which typically used background cues to differentiate contexts, the current study manipulated task context. Specifically, the task alternated from block to block between a compound search and a...

Bavard & Palminteri (2023)

The functional form of value normalization in human reinforcement learning

[Paper] [Data]

Reinforcement learning research in humans and other species indicates that rewards are represented in a context-dependent manner. More specifically, reward representations seem to be normalized as a function of the value of the alternative options. The dominant view postulates that value context-dependence is achieved via a divisive normalization rule, inspired by perceptual decision-making research. However, behavioral and neural evidence points to another plausible mechanism: range normalization. Critically, previous experimental designs were ill-suited to disentangle...

Mikus et al. (2023)

Blocking D2/D3 dopamine receptors in male participants increases volatility of beliefs when learning to trust others

[Paper] [Data]

The ability to learn about other people is crucial for human social functioning. Dopamine has been proposed to regulate the precision of beliefs, but direct behavioural evidence of this is lacking. In this study, we investigate how a high dose of the D2/D3 dopamine receptor antagonist sulpiride impacts learning about other people’s prosocial attitudes in a repeated Trust game. Using a Bayesian model of belief updating, we show that in a sample of 76 male participants sulpiride increases the volatility of beliefs, which leads to higher precision weights on...

Zorowitz et al. (2023b)

Inattentive responding can induce spurious associations between task behavior and symptom measures

[Paper] [Data]

A common research design in the field of computational psychiatry involves leveraging the power of online participant recruitment to assess correlations between behavior in cognitive tasks and the self-reported severity of psychiatric symptoms in large, diverse samples. Although large online samples have many advantages for psychiatric research, some potential pitfalls of this research design are not widely understood. Here we detail circumstances in which entirely spurious correlations may arise between task behavior and symptom severity as a result of inadequate...

Bode et al. (2023)

Non-instrumental information-seeking is resistant to acute stress

[Paper] [Data]

Previous research has shown that people intrinsically value non-instrumental information, which cannot be used to change the outcome of events, but only provides an early resolution of uncertainty. This is true even for information about rather inconsequential events, such as the outcomes of small lotteries. Here we investigated whether participants’ willingness to pay for non-instrumental information about the outcome of simple coin-flip lotteries with guaranteed winnings was modulated by acute stress. Stress was induced using the Socially Evaluated Cold Pressor Test...

Robinson & Brady (2023)

A quantitative model of ensemble perception as summed activation in feature space

[Paper] [Data]

Ensemble perception is a process by which we summarize complex scenes. Despite the importance of ensemble perception to everyday cognition, there are few computational models that provide a formal account of this process. Here we develop and test a model in which ensemble representations reflect the global sum of activation signals across all individual items. We leverage this set of minimal assumptions to formally connect a model of memory for individual items to ensembles. We compare our ensemble model against a set of alternative models in five experiments. Our...

Lamba et al. (2023)

Prefrontal cortex state representations shape human credit assignment

[Paper] [Data]

People learn adaptively from feedback, but the rate of such learning differs drastically across individuals and contexts. Here we examine whether this variability reflects differences in what is learned. Leveraging a neurocomputational approach that merges fMRI and an iterative reward learning task, we link the specificity of credit assignment-how well people are able to appropriately attribute outcomes to their causes-to the precision of neural codes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Participants credit task-relevant cues more precisely in social compared to nonsocial...

Lin & von-Helversen (2023)

Never gonna Give you up even when it is suboptimal

[Paper] [Data]

Previous research showed that animals adopt different foraging strategies in different environment settings. However, research on whether humans adapt their foraging strategies to the foraging environment has shown little evidence of a change in strategies. This study aims to investigate whether humans will adapt their foraging strategies when performance differences between strategies are large and why participants may fixate on a single strategy. We conducted two foraging experiments and identified the strategies used by the participants. Most participants used the...

Zilker & Pachur (2023)

Attribute attention and option attention in risky choice

[Paper] [Data]

Probability weighting is one of the most powerful theoretical constructs in descriptive models of risky choice and constitutes a central component of cumulative prospect theory (CPT). Probability weighting has been shown to be related to two facets of attention allocation: one analysis showed that differences in the shape of CPT’s probability-weighting function are linked to differences in how attention is allocated across attributes (i.e., probabilities vs. outcomes); another analysis (that used a different measure of attention) showed a link between probability...

Hewitson et al. (2023)

Metacognitive judgments during visuomotor learning reflect the integration of error history

[Paper] [Data]

People form metacognitive representations of their own abilities across a range of tasks. How these representations are influenced by errors during learning is poorly understood. Here we ask how metacognitive confidence judgments of performance during motor learning are shaped by the learner’s recent history of errors. Across four motor learning experiments, our computational modeling approach demonstrated that people’s confidence judgments are best explained by a recency-weighted averaging of visually observed errors. Moreover, in the formation of these confidence...

Slanina-Davies et al. (2023)

Eating disorder symptoms and control-seeking behavior

[Paper] [Data]

OBJECTIVE: Eating disorders (EDs) are a heterogenous group of disorders characterized by disturbed eating patterns. Links have been made between ED symptoms and control-seeking behaviors, which may cause relief from distress. However, whether direct behavioral measures of control-seeking behavior correlate with ED symptoms has not been directly tested. Additionally, existing paradigms may conflate control-seeking behavior with uncertainty-reducing behavior. METHOD: A general population sample of 183 participants completed part in an online behavioral task, in which...

Biria et al. (2023)

Cortical glutamate and GABA are related to compulsive behaviour in individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder and healthy controls

[Paper] [Data]

There has been little analysis of neurochemical correlates of compulsive behaviour to illuminate its underlying neural mechanisms. We use 7-Tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to assess the balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission by measuring glutamate and GABA levels in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and supplementary motor area (SMA) of healthy volunteers and participants with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Within the SMA, trait and clinical measures of compulsive behaviour are related to glutamate levels, whereas a behavioural...

Katzman et al. (2023)

Sensitivity to the instrumental value of control increases across development

[Paper] [Data]

Across development, people seek to control their environments, often demonstrating a preference for contexts in which they have the opportunity to make choices. However, it is not clear how children, adolescents, and adults learn to calibrate this preference based on the costs and benefits of exerting control. Here, 92 participants between the ages of 10 and 25 completed a probabilistic reinforcement-learning task across contexts in which the instrumental value of control varied. On every trial, participants selected between two slot machines to try to gain the most...

Schurr et al. (2023)

Dynamic computational phenotyping of human cognition

[Paper] [Data]

Computational phenotyping has emerged as a powerful tool for characterizing individual variability across a variety of cognitive domains. An individual’s computational phenotype is defined as a set of mechanistically interpretable parameters obtained from fitting computational models to behavioral data. However, the interpretation of these parameters hinges critically on their psychometric properties, which are rarely studied. In order to identify the sources governing the temporal variability of the computational phenotype, we carried out a 12-week longitudinal study...

Navidi et al. (2023)

Prosocial learning: Model-based or model-free?

[Paper] [Data]

Prosocial learning involves the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for making decisions that benefit others. We asked if, in the context of value-based decision-making, there is any difference between learning strategies for oneself vs. for others. We implemented a 2-step reinforcement learning paradigm in which participants learned, in separate blocks, to make decisions for themselves or for a present other confederate who evaluated their performance. We replicated the canonical features of the model-based and model-free reinforcement learning in our...

de-Eccher et al. (2023)

Developmental differences in uncertainty-driven sampling behavior

[Paper] [Data]

Much recent work has shown that children actively shape their learning progress by choosing what, when and from whom they want to learn. However less is known about whether children are sensitive to gaps in their knowledge, and whether they selectively solicit information about items they previously indicated having a knowledge gap about. In a cross-situational word-learning task, we asked 5-year-olds, 6-9-year-olds and adults to estimate their knowledge of newly learned word-object associations. We then examined whether participants preferentially chose to hear the...

Devine et al. (2023)

Distinguishing between intrinsic and instrumental sources of the value of choice

[Paper] [Data]

Considerable evidence suggests that people value the freedom of choice. However, it is unclear whether this preference for choice stems purely from choice’s intrinsic value, or whether people prefer to choose because it tends to provide instrumental information about desirable outcomes. To address this question, we asked participants (n=200) to complete a two-stage choice task in which they could freely choose to exert choice or not. Borrowing a concept from information theory—mutual information—we manipulated the instrumental contingency between participants’...

Mason et al. (2023)

Rare and extreme outcomes in risky choice

[Paper] [Data]

Many real-world decisions involving rare events also involve extreme outcomes. Despite this confluence, decisions-from-experience research has focused on the impact of rare but non-extreme outcomes. In those situations, people typically choose as if they underestimate the probability of a rare outcome happening. Separately, people have been shown to overestimate the probability of an extreme outcome happening. Here, for the first time, we examine the confluence of these two competing biases in decisions from experience. In a between-subjects behavioural experiment, we...