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Choice mechanisms for past, temporally extended outcomes.

Vestergaard MD, Schultz W - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2015)

Bottom Line: A biologically plausible mechanism underlying evaluation of temporally extended outcomes is leaky integration of evidence.The disadvantageous inclination towards persistent growth was mitigated in some individuals in whom a longer time constant of the leaky integrator resulted in fewer violations of dominance.These results demonstrate how focusing on immediate gains is less beneficial than considering longer perspectives.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3DY, UK mdv23@cam.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
Accurate retrospection is critical in many decision scenarios ranging from investment banking to hedonic psychology. A notoriously difficult case is to integrate previously perceived values over the duration of an experience. Failure in retrospective evaluation leads to suboptimal outcome when previous experiences are under consideration for revisit. A biologically plausible mechanism underlying evaluation of temporally extended outcomes is leaky integration of evidence. The leaky integrator favours positive temporal contrasts, in turn leading to undue emphasis on recency. To investigate choice mechanisms underlying suboptimal outcome based on retrospective evaluation, we used computational and behavioural techniques to model choice between perceived extended outcomes with different temporal profiles. Second-price auctions served to establish the perceived values of virtual coins offered sequentially to humans in a rapid monetary gambling task. Results show that lesser-valued options involving successive growth were systematically preferred to better options with declining temporal profiles. The disadvantageous inclination towards persistent growth was mitigated in some individuals in whom a longer time constant of the leaky integrator resulted in fewer violations of dominance. These results demonstrate how focusing on immediate gains is less beneficial than considering longer perspectives.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The effects of shape and coin position for profiles of temporally extended outcome. (a) Competing profiles with 7–10 coins varied slightly as indicated by line type (in some cases, dotted and dashed lines are behind the solid lines); omitted coins are shown as £0. Overall preference ratios (numbers of subjects) are indicated below each set. (b) Multiple regression for evidence derived from initial, mean and final values; (i) individual subject data and group averages are shown and (ii) fixed effects analysis of coin position. To enable the latter, all temporal profiles were upsampled to 10. Regressors were orthogonalized to evidence according to mean value. This analysis conserves any correlation between the proxies and it removes effects of mean value. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.
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RSPB20141766F3: The effects of shape and coin position for profiles of temporally extended outcome. (a) Competing profiles with 7–10 coins varied slightly as indicated by line type (in some cases, dotted and dashed lines are behind the solid lines); omitted coins are shown as £0. Overall preference ratios (numbers of subjects) are indicated below each set. (b) Multiple regression for evidence derived from initial, mean and final values; (i) individual subject data and group averages are shown and (ii) fixed effects analysis of coin position. To enable the latter, all temporal profiles were upsampled to 10. Regressors were orthogonalized to evidence according to mean value. This analysis conserves any correlation between the proxies and it removes effects of mean value. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.

Mentions: In the first version of the game, 20 participants completed the exploration task (experiment 1). The participants explored pairs of coin sequences freely in blocks of 20–30 trials without feedback, and preference was inferred implicitly by choice frequency in a block. We observed strong preference for increasing profiles and for some dominated options characterized by the omission of a small extra coin at the end (figure 3a). Multiple logistic regression assessed if observed choices were determined by evidence derived from simple proxies for total value, such as the initial, average or final values. A significant role was observed for the single initial (b = −0.43, p = 0.0000053) and final (b = 0.30, p = 0.0018) values, while strong predictive leverage on choice was observed for average value (b = 2.79, p = 1.4 × 10−149; figure 3b(i)). These results indicate that the participants were sensitive to the chronologic configuration of the outcome. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that incentive value is related to the succession of temporal contrasts; starting low and finishing on a high is preferred over the reverse (figure 3b(ii)). The following experiment assessed the extent to which this preference competes with sequence duration.Figure 3.


Choice mechanisms for past, temporally extended outcomes.

Vestergaard MD, Schultz W - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2015)

The effects of shape and coin position for profiles of temporally extended outcome. (a) Competing profiles with 7–10 coins varied slightly as indicated by line type (in some cases, dotted and dashed lines are behind the solid lines); omitted coins are shown as £0. Overall preference ratios (numbers of subjects) are indicated below each set. (b) Multiple regression for evidence derived from initial, mean and final values; (i) individual subject data and group averages are shown and (ii) fixed effects analysis of coin position. To enable the latter, all temporal profiles were upsampled to 10. Regressors were orthogonalized to evidence according to mean value. This analysis conserves any correlation between the proxies and it removes effects of mean value. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4590462&req=5

RSPB20141766F3: The effects of shape and coin position for profiles of temporally extended outcome. (a) Competing profiles with 7–10 coins varied slightly as indicated by line type (in some cases, dotted and dashed lines are behind the solid lines); omitted coins are shown as £0. Overall preference ratios (numbers of subjects) are indicated below each set. (b) Multiple regression for evidence derived from initial, mean and final values; (i) individual subject data and group averages are shown and (ii) fixed effects analysis of coin position. To enable the latter, all temporal profiles were upsampled to 10. Regressors were orthogonalized to evidence according to mean value. This analysis conserves any correlation between the proxies and it removes effects of mean value. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.
Mentions: In the first version of the game, 20 participants completed the exploration task (experiment 1). The participants explored pairs of coin sequences freely in blocks of 20–30 trials without feedback, and preference was inferred implicitly by choice frequency in a block. We observed strong preference for increasing profiles and for some dominated options characterized by the omission of a small extra coin at the end (figure 3a). Multiple logistic regression assessed if observed choices were determined by evidence derived from simple proxies for total value, such as the initial, average or final values. A significant role was observed for the single initial (b = −0.43, p = 0.0000053) and final (b = 0.30, p = 0.0018) values, while strong predictive leverage on choice was observed for average value (b = 2.79, p = 1.4 × 10−149; figure 3b(i)). These results indicate that the participants were sensitive to the chronologic configuration of the outcome. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that incentive value is related to the succession of temporal contrasts; starting low and finishing on a high is preferred over the reverse (figure 3b(ii)). The following experiment assessed the extent to which this preference competes with sequence duration.Figure 3.

Bottom Line: A biologically plausible mechanism underlying evaluation of temporally extended outcomes is leaky integration of evidence.The disadvantageous inclination towards persistent growth was mitigated in some individuals in whom a longer time constant of the leaky integrator resulted in fewer violations of dominance.These results demonstrate how focusing on immediate gains is less beneficial than considering longer perspectives.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3DY, UK mdv23@cam.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
Accurate retrospection is critical in many decision scenarios ranging from investment banking to hedonic psychology. A notoriously difficult case is to integrate previously perceived values over the duration of an experience. Failure in retrospective evaluation leads to suboptimal outcome when previous experiences are under consideration for revisit. A biologically plausible mechanism underlying evaluation of temporally extended outcomes is leaky integration of evidence. The leaky integrator favours positive temporal contrasts, in turn leading to undue emphasis on recency. To investigate choice mechanisms underlying suboptimal outcome based on retrospective evaluation, we used computational and behavioural techniques to model choice between perceived extended outcomes with different temporal profiles. Second-price auctions served to establish the perceived values of virtual coins offered sequentially to humans in a rapid monetary gambling task. Results show that lesser-valued options involving successive growth were systematically preferred to better options with declining temporal profiles. The disadvantageous inclination towards persistent growth was mitigated in some individuals in whom a longer time constant of the leaky integrator resulted in fewer violations of dominance. These results demonstrate how focusing on immediate gains is less beneficial than considering longer perspectives.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus