Acquisition of decision making criteria: Reward rate ultimately beats accuracy

Title:
Acquisition of decision making criteria: Reward rate ultimately beats accuracy
Authors:
Balci, Fuat; Simen, Patrick; Niyogi, Ritwik; Saxe, Andrew; Hughes, Jessica A.; Holmes, Philip; Cohen, Jonathan D.
Abstract:
Speed–accuracy trade-offs strongly influence the rate of reward that can be earned in many decision-making tasks. Previous reports suggest that human participants often adopt suboptimal speed–accuracy trade-offs in single session, two-alternative forced-choice tasks. We investigated whether humans acquired optimal speed–accuracy trade-offs when extensively trained with multiple signal qualities. When performance was characterized in terms of decision time and accuracy, our participants eventually performed nearly optimally in the case of higher signal qualities. Rather than adopting decision criteria that were individually optimal for each signal quality, participants adopted a single threshold that was nearly optimal for most signal qualities. However, setting a single threshold for different coherence conditions resulted in only negligible decrements in the maximum possible reward rate. Finally, we tested two hypotheses regarding the possible sources of suboptimal performance: (1) favoring accuracy over reward rate and (2) misestimating the reward rate due to timing uncertainty. Our findings provide support for both hypotheses, but also for the hypothesis that participants can learn to approach optimality. We find specifically that an accuracy bias dominates early performance, but diminishes greatly with practice. The residual discrepancy between optimal and observed performance can be explained by an adaptive response to uncertainty in time estimation.
Citation:
Balci, F., P. Simen, R. Niyogi, A. Saxe, et al. 2011. "Acquisition of decision making criteria: Reward rate ultimately beats accuracy." Attention, Perception & Psychophysics 73: 640-657.
Publisher:
Psychonomic Society/Springer Verlag
DATE ISSUED:
2011
Department:
Neuroscience
Type:
article
PUBLISHED VERSION:
10.3758/s13414-010-0049-7
PERMANENT LINK:
http://hdl.handle.net/11282/310567

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorBalci, Fuaten_US
dc.contributor.authorSimen, Patricken_US
dc.contributor.authorNiyogi, Ritwiken_US
dc.contributor.authorSaxe, Andrewen_US
dc.contributor.authorHughes, Jessica A.en_US
dc.contributor.authorHolmes, Philipen_US
dc.contributor.authorCohen, Jonathan D.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2013-12-23T16:35:51Z-
dc.date.available2013-12-23T16:35:51Z-
dc.date.issued2011en
dc.identifier.citationBalci, F., P. Simen, R. Niyogi, A. Saxe, et al. 2011. "Acquisition of decision making criteria: Reward rate ultimately beats accuracy." Attention, Perception & Psychophysics 73: 640-657.en_US
dc.identifier.issn1943-3921en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11282/310567-
dc.description.abstractSpeed–accuracy trade-offs strongly influence the rate of reward that can be earned in many decision-making tasks. Previous reports suggest that human participants often adopt suboptimal speed–accuracy trade-offs in single session, two-alternative forced-choice tasks. We investigated whether humans acquired optimal speed–accuracy trade-offs when extensively trained with multiple signal qualities. When performance was characterized in terms of decision time and accuracy, our participants eventually performed nearly optimally in the case of higher signal qualities. Rather than adopting decision criteria that were individually optimal for each signal quality, participants adopted a single threshold that was nearly optimal for most signal qualities. However, setting a single threshold for different coherence conditions resulted in only negligible decrements in the maximum possible reward rate. Finally, we tested two hypotheses regarding the possible sources of suboptimal performance: (1) favoring accuracy over reward rate and (2) misestimating the reward rate due to timing uncertainty. Our findings provide support for both hypotheses, but also for the hypothesis that participants can learn to approach optimality. We find specifically that an accuracy bias dominates early performance, but diminishes greatly with practice. The residual discrepancy between optimal and observed performance can be explained by an adaptive response to uncertainty in time estimation.en_US
dc.publisherPsychonomic Society/Springer Verlagen_US
dc.identifier.doi10.3758/s13414-010-0049-7-
dc.subject.departmentNeuroscienceen_US
dc.titleAcquisition of decision making criteria: Reward rate ultimately beats accuracyen_US
dc.typearticleen_US
dc.identifier.journalAttention, Perception & Psychophysicsen_US
dc.identifier.volume73en_US
dc.identifier.startpage640en_US
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