The neurodynamics of choice, value-based decisions, and preference reversal

Marius Usher, Anat Elhalal and James L. McClelland

in The Probabilistic Mind:

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780199216093
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191695971 | DOI:
The neurodynamics of choice, value-based decisions, and preference reversal

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This chapter aims to review some of the neurocomputational work by contrasting the various processing assumptions and the way they account for one of the most intriguing patterns in the choice data: contextual preference-reversal. It introduces a very simple process model of choice, called the leaky competing accumulator (LCA) model, which has been developed to account for both perceptual and preferential choice data. It reviews some of the data on preference reversal, and on framing effects, which are the main targets of the neurocomputational theories. It discusses two such theories, the decision-field theory (DFT) developed by Busemeyer and colleagues and an extension of the LCA. It further examines some similarities and contrasts between the models that lead to a set of experimental predictions and present experimental data aimed at testing these predictions and consider their implications for the issue of rationality in choice.

Keywords: neurocomputational theories; contextual preference-reversal; leaky competing accumulator; framing effects; choice data; decision-field theory; value-based decisions

Chapter.  10668 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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