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Humans primarily use model-based inference in the two-stage task


Hare, Todd A; Feher da Silva, Carolina (2020). Humans primarily use model-based inference in the two-stage task. Nature Human Behaviour, 4(10):1053-1066.

Abstract

Distinct model-free and model-based learning processes are thought to drive both typical and dysfunctional behaviours. Data from two-stage decision tasks have seemingly shown that human behaviour is driven by both processes operating in parallel. However, in this study, we show that more detailed task instructions lead participants to make primarily model-based choices that have little, if any, simple model-free influence. We also demonstrate that behaviour in the two-stage task may falsely appear to be driven by a combination of simple model-free and model-based learning if purely model-based agents form inaccurate models of the task because of misconceptions. Furthermore, we report evidence that many participants do misconceive the task in important ways. Overall, we argue that humans formulate a wide variety of learning models. Consequently, the simple dichotomy of model-free versus model-based learning is inadequate to explain behaviour in the two-stage task and connections between reward learning, habit formation and compulsivity.

Abstract

Distinct model-free and model-based learning processes are thought to drive both typical and dysfunctional behaviours. Data from two-stage decision tasks have seemingly shown that human behaviour is driven by both processes operating in parallel. However, in this study, we show that more detailed task instructions lead participants to make primarily model-based choices that have little, if any, simple model-free influence. We also demonstrate that behaviour in the two-stage task may falsely appear to be driven by a combination of simple model-free and model-based learning if purely model-based agents form inaccurate models of the task because of misconceptions. Furthermore, we report evidence that many participants do misconceive the task in important ways. Overall, we argue that humans formulate a wide variety of learning models. Consequently, the simple dichotomy of model-free versus model-based learning is inadequate to explain behaviour in the two-stage task and connections between reward learning, habit formation and compulsivity.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 October 2020
Deposited On:04 Sep 2020 16:43
Last Modified:15 Oct 2020 01:42
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2397-3374
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0905-y
PubMed ID:32632333

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