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Rational After All: Changes in Probability Matching Behaviour Across Time in Humans and Monkeys


Saldana Gascon, Carmen; Claidière, Nicolas; Fagot, Joël; Smith, Kenny (2020). Rational After All: Changes in Probability Matching Behaviour Across Time in Humans and Monkeys. PsyArXiv Preprints o. Nr., University of Zurich.

Abstract

Probability matching—where subjects given probabilistic in-put respond in a way that is proportional to those input probabilities—has long been thought to be characteristic of primate performance in probability learning tasks in a variety of contexts, from decision making to the learning of linguistic variation in humans. However, such behaviour is puzzling because it is not optimal in a decision theoretic sense; the optimal strategy is to always select the alternative with the highest positive-outcome probability, known as maximising(in decision making) or regularising (in linguistic tasks). While the tendency to probability match seems to depend somewhat on the participants and the task (i.e., infants are less likely to probability match than adults, monkeys probability matchless than humans, and probability matching is less likely in linguistic tasks), existing studies suffer from a range of deficiencies which make it difficult to robustly assess these differences. In this project we present a series of experiments which systematically test the development of probability matching behaviour over time in simple decision making tasks, across species (humans and Guinea baboons), task complexity, and task domain (linguistic vs non-linguistic).

Abstract

Probability matching—where subjects given probabilistic in-put respond in a way that is proportional to those input probabilities—has long been thought to be characteristic of primate performance in probability learning tasks in a variety of contexts, from decision making to the learning of linguistic variation in humans. However, such behaviour is puzzling because it is not optimal in a decision theoretic sense; the optimal strategy is to always select the alternative with the highest positive-outcome probability, known as maximising(in decision making) or regularising (in linguistic tasks). While the tendency to probability match seems to depend somewhat on the participants and the task (i.e., infants are less likely to probability match than adults, monkeys probability matchless than humans, and probability matching is less likely in linguistic tasks), existing studies suffer from a range of deficiencies which make it difficult to robustly assess these differences. In this project we present a series of experiments which systematically test the development of probability matching behaviour over time in simple decision making tasks, across species (humans and Guinea baboons), task complexity, and task domain (linguistic vs non-linguistic).

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Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:20 Jan 2021 10:41
Last Modified:20 Jan 2021 10:44
Series Name:PsyArXiv Preprints
ISSN:0010-9452
Additional Information:Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/f5jts

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