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    Do humans make good decisions?

    Summerfield, C. and Tsetsos, Konstantinos (2015) Do humans make good decisions? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 19 (1), pp. 27-34. ISSN 1364-6613.

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    •Perceptual and economic decisions approach optimality when the environment is stable. •Humans making decisions about variable visual information use suboptimal strategies. •Visual feature information may be represented efficiently during categorisation. •Efficient coding may explain departures from optimality in variable environments. Human performance on perceptual classification tasks approaches that of an ideal observer, but economic decisions are often inconsistent and intransitive, with preferences reversing according to the local context. We discuss the view that suboptimal choices may result from the efficient coding of decision-relevant information, a strategy that allows expected inputs to be processed with higher gain than unexpected inputs. Efficient coding leads to ‘robust’ decisions that depart from optimality but maximise the information transmitted by a limited-capacity system in a rapidly-changing world. We review recent work showing that when perceptual environments are variable or volatile, perceptual decisions exhibit the same suboptimal context-dependence as economic choices, and we propose a general computational framework that accounts for findings across the two domains.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): perceptual decision-making, neuroeconomics, optimality, information integration, gain control, efficient coding
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2015 13:42
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:20


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