Every day, we make many value-based decisions where we weigh the value of options with other properties, e.g. their time of delivery. In the laboratory, such value-based decision-making is usually studied on a trial by trial basis and each decision is assumed to represent an isolated choice process. Real-life decisions however are usually embedded in a rich context of previous choices at different time scales. A fundamental question is therefore how the dynamics of value-based decision processes unfold on a time scale across several decisions. Indeed, findings from perceptual decision making suggest that sequential decisions patterns might also be present for vale-based decision making. Here, we use a neural-inspired attractor model as an instance of dynamic models from perceptual decision making, as such models incorporate inherent activation dynamics across decisions. We use the model to predict sequential patterns, namely oscillatory switching, perseveration and dependence of perseveration on the delay between decisions. Furthermore, we predict RT effects for specific sequences of trials. We validate the predictions in two new studies and a reanalysis of existing data from a novel decision game in which participants have to perform delay discounting decisions. Applying the validated reasoning to a well-established choice questionnaire, we illustrate and discuss that taking sequential choice patterns into account may be necessary to accurately analyse and model value-based decision processes, especially when considering differences between individuals.
|Number of pages
|Published - 21 Apr 2022
Research priority areas of TU Dresden
DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Choice Behavior/physiology, Decision Making/physiology, Humans