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Conceptual representations in goal-directed decision making


Shea, N; Krug, K; Tobler, Philippe N (2008). Conceptual representations in goal-directed decision making. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 8(4):418-428.

Abstract

Emerging evidence suggests that the long-established distinction between habit-based and goal-directed decision-making mechanisms can also be sustained in humans. Although the habit-based system has been extensively studied in humans, the goal-directed system is less well characterized. This review brings to that task the distinction between conceptual and nonconceptual representational mechanisms. Conceptual representations are structured out of semantic constituents (concepts)--the use of which requires an ability to perform some language-like syntactic processing. Decision making--as investigated by neuroscience and psychology--is normally studied in isolation from questions about concepts as studied in philosophy and cognitive psychology. We ask what role concepts play in the "goal-directed" decision-making system. We argue that one fruitful way of studying this system in humans is to investigate the extent to which it deploys conceptual representations.

Emerging evidence suggests that the long-established distinction between habit-based and goal-directed decision-making mechanisms can also be sustained in humans. Although the habit-based system has been extensively studied in humans, the goal-directed system is less well characterized. This review brings to that task the distinction between conceptual and nonconceptual representational mechanisms. Conceptual representations are structured out of semantic constituents (concepts)--the use of which requires an ability to perform some language-like syntactic processing. Decision making--as investigated by neuroscience and psychology--is normally studied in isolation from questions about concepts as studied in philosophy and cognitive psychology. We ask what role concepts play in the "goal-directed" decision-making system. We argue that one fruitful way of studying this system in humans is to investigate the extent to which it deploys conceptual representations.

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7 citations in Web of Science®
10 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
08 University Research Priority Programs > Foundations of Human Social Behavior: Altruism and Egoism
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:27 Oct 2011 13:18
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:03
Publisher:Psychonomic Society
ISSN:1530-7026
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3758/CABN.8.4.418
PubMed ID:19033239
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-50268

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