Better together? Social distance affects joint probability discounting

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


Deciding together is common in our everyday life. However, the process of this joint decision-making plays out across different levels, for example language, intonation, or non-verbal behaviour. Here we focused on non-verbal interaction dynamics between two participants in probability discounting. We applied a gamified decision-making task in which participants performed a series of choices between a small but safe and a large but risky reward. In two experiments, we found that joint decision-making resulted in lower discounting and higher efficiency. In order to understand the underlying mechanisms in greater detail, we studied through which process this variation occurred and whether this process would be modulated by the social distance between both participants. Our findings suggested that socially close participants managed to reduce their discounting by interactive processes while socially distant participants were influenced by the social context itself. However, a higher level of efficiency was achieved through interactive processes for both groups. In summary, this study served as a fine-grained investigation of collaborative interaction processes and its significant impact on the outcome of choices with probabilistic consequences.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513-1529
Number of pages17
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number7
Early online date10 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2022

External IDs

Scopus 85126020436
WOS 000767055300001
Mendeley b514fb5a-9547-3a6c-9cc0-dcbb3fc6f060
unpaywall 10.3758/s13421-022-01290-6
PubMed 35267185
ORCID /0000-0002-4408-6016/work/142234408


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • Decision Making, Humans, Probability, Reward, Social distance, Process tracing, Joint decision-making, Probability discounting

Library keywords