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A common mechanism underlying food choice and social decisions


Krajbich, Ian; Hare, Todd A; Bartling, Björn; Morishima, Yosuke; Fehr, Ernst (2015). A common mechanism underlying food choice and social decisions. PLoS Computational Biology, 11(10):e1004371.

Abstract

People make numerous decisions every day including perceptual decisions such as walking through a crowd, decisions over primary rewards such as what to eat, and social decisions that require balancing own and others' benefits. The unifying principles behind choices in various domains are, however, still not well understood. Mathematical models that describe choice behavior in specific contexts have provided important insights into the computations that may underlie decision making in the brain. However, a critical and largely unanswered question is whether these models generalize from one choice context to another. Here we show that a model adapted from the perceptual decision-making domain and estimated on choices over food rewards accurately predicts choices and reaction times in four independent sets of subjects making social decisions. The robustness of the model across domains provides behavioral evidence for a common decision-making process in perceptual, primary reward, and social decision making.

Abstract

People make numerous decisions every day including perceptual decisions such as walking through a crowd, decisions over primary rewards such as what to eat, and social decisions that require balancing own and others' benefits. The unifying principles behind choices in various domains are, however, still not well understood. Mathematical models that describe choice behavior in specific contexts have provided important insights into the computations that may underlie decision making in the brain. However, a critical and largely unanswered question is whether these models generalize from one choice context to another. Here we show that a model adapted from the perceptual decision-making domain and estimated on choices over food rewards accurately predicts choices and reaction times in four independent sets of subjects making social decisions. The robustness of the model across domains provides behavioral evidence for a common decision-making process in perceptual, primary reward, and social decision making.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:04 Nov 2015 16:52
Last Modified:07 Aug 2017 02:14
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1553-734X
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004371
PubMed ID:26460812

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Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)