Economic decision-making compared with an equivalent motor task

Shih Wei Wu, Mauricio R. Delgado, Laurence T. Maloney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is considerable evidence that human economic decisionmaking deviates from the predictions of expected utility theory (EUT) and that human performance conforms to EUT in many perceptual and motor decision tasks. It is possible that these results reflect a real difference in decision-making in the 2 domains but it is also possible that the observed discrepancy simply reflects typical differences in experimental design. We developed a motor task that is mathematically equivalent to choosing between lotteries and used it to compare how the same subject chose between classical economic lotteries and the same lotteries presented in equivalent motor form. In experiment 1, we found that subjects are more risk seeking in deciding between motor lotteries. In experiment 2, we used cumulative prospect theory to model choice and separately estimated the probability weighting functions and the value functions for each subject carrying out each task. We found no patterned differences in how subjects represented outcome value in the motor and the classical tasks. However, the probability weighting functions for motor and classical tasks were markedly and significantly different. Those for the classical task showed a typical tendency to overweight small probabilities and underweight large probabilities, and those for the motor task showed the opposite pattern of probability distortion. This outcome also accounts forthe increased risk-seeking observed in the motor tasks of experiment 1. We conclude that the same subject distorts probability, but not value, differently in making identical decisions in motor and classical form.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6088-6093
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume106
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 14 2009

Fingerprint

Decision Making
Economics
Thinness
Research Design

Keywords

  • Decision from experience
  • Expected utility theory
  • Independence axiom
  • Movement planning
  • Prospect theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Economic decision-making compared with an equivalent motor task. / Wu, Shih Wei; Delgado, Mauricio R.; Maloney, Laurence T.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 106, No. 15, 14.04.2009, p. 6088-6093.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{0d0718bcd40d482f9637e934561351f8,
title = "Economic decision-making compared with an equivalent motor task",
abstract = "There is considerable evidence that human economic decisionmaking deviates from the predictions of expected utility theory (EUT) and that human performance conforms to EUT in many perceptual and motor decision tasks. It is possible that these results reflect a real difference in decision-making in the 2 domains but it is also possible that the observed discrepancy simply reflects typical differences in experimental design. We developed a motor task that is mathematically equivalent to choosing between lotteries and used it to compare how the same subject chose between classical economic lotteries and the same lotteries presented in equivalent motor form. In experiment 1, we found that subjects are more risk seeking in deciding between motor lotteries. In experiment 2, we used cumulative prospect theory to model choice and separately estimated the probability weighting functions and the value functions for each subject carrying out each task. We found no patterned differences in how subjects represented outcome value in the motor and the classical tasks. However, the probability weighting functions for motor and classical tasks were markedly and significantly different. Those for the classical task showed a typical tendency to overweight small probabilities and underweight large probabilities, and those for the motor task showed the opposite pattern of probability distortion. This outcome also accounts forthe increased risk-seeking observed in the motor tasks of experiment 1. We conclude that the same subject distorts probability, but not value, differently in making identical decisions in motor and classical form.",
keywords = "Decision from experience, Expected utility theory, Independence axiom, Movement planning, Prospect theory",
author = "Wu, {Shih Wei} and Delgado, {Mauricio R.} and Maloney, {Laurence T.}",
year = "2009",
month = "4",
day = "14",
doi = "10.1073/pnas.0900102106",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "106",
pages = "6088--6093",
journal = "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America",
issn = "0027-8424",
number = "15",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Economic decision-making compared with an equivalent motor task

AU - Wu, Shih Wei

AU - Delgado, Mauricio R.

AU - Maloney, Laurence T.

PY - 2009/4/14

Y1 - 2009/4/14

N2 - There is considerable evidence that human economic decisionmaking deviates from the predictions of expected utility theory (EUT) and that human performance conforms to EUT in many perceptual and motor decision tasks. It is possible that these results reflect a real difference in decision-making in the 2 domains but it is also possible that the observed discrepancy simply reflects typical differences in experimental design. We developed a motor task that is mathematically equivalent to choosing between lotteries and used it to compare how the same subject chose between classical economic lotteries and the same lotteries presented in equivalent motor form. In experiment 1, we found that subjects are more risk seeking in deciding between motor lotteries. In experiment 2, we used cumulative prospect theory to model choice and separately estimated the probability weighting functions and the value functions for each subject carrying out each task. We found no patterned differences in how subjects represented outcome value in the motor and the classical tasks. However, the probability weighting functions for motor and classical tasks were markedly and significantly different. Those for the classical task showed a typical tendency to overweight small probabilities and underweight large probabilities, and those for the motor task showed the opposite pattern of probability distortion. This outcome also accounts forthe increased risk-seeking observed in the motor tasks of experiment 1. We conclude that the same subject distorts probability, but not value, differently in making identical decisions in motor and classical form.

AB - There is considerable evidence that human economic decisionmaking deviates from the predictions of expected utility theory (EUT) and that human performance conforms to EUT in many perceptual and motor decision tasks. It is possible that these results reflect a real difference in decision-making in the 2 domains but it is also possible that the observed discrepancy simply reflects typical differences in experimental design. We developed a motor task that is mathematically equivalent to choosing between lotteries and used it to compare how the same subject chose between classical economic lotteries and the same lotteries presented in equivalent motor form. In experiment 1, we found that subjects are more risk seeking in deciding between motor lotteries. In experiment 2, we used cumulative prospect theory to model choice and separately estimated the probability weighting functions and the value functions for each subject carrying out each task. We found no patterned differences in how subjects represented outcome value in the motor and the classical tasks. However, the probability weighting functions for motor and classical tasks were markedly and significantly different. Those for the classical task showed a typical tendency to overweight small probabilities and underweight large probabilities, and those for the motor task showed the opposite pattern of probability distortion. This outcome also accounts forthe increased risk-seeking observed in the motor tasks of experiment 1. We conclude that the same subject distorts probability, but not value, differently in making identical decisions in motor and classical form.

KW - Decision from experience

KW - Expected utility theory

KW - Independence axiom

KW - Movement planning

KW - Prospect theory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=65549115914&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=65549115914&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1073/pnas.0900102106

DO - 10.1073/pnas.0900102106

M3 - Article

VL - 106

SP - 6088

EP - 6093

JO - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

JF - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

SN - 0027-8424

IS - 15

ER -