Chapter

A Response-Time Approach to Comparing Generalized Rational and Take-the-Best Models of Decision Making

F. Bryan Bergert and Robert M. Nosofsky

in Heuristics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199744282
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894727 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.003.0019
A Response-Time Approach to Comparing Generalized Rational and Take-the-Best Models of Decision Making

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This chapter develops and tests generalized versions of take-the-best (TTB) and rational (RAT) models of multiattribute paired-comparison inference. The generalized models make allowances for subjective attribute weighting, probabilistic orders of attribute inspection, and noisy decision making. A key new test involves a response-time (RT) approach. TTB predicts that RT is determined solely by the expected time required to locate the 1st discriminating attribute, whereas RAT predicts that RT is determined by the difference in summed evidence between the two alternatives. Critical test pairs are used that partially decouple these two factors. Under conditions in which ideal observer TTB and RAT strategies yield equivalent decisions, both the RT results and the estimated attribute weights suggest that the vast majority of subjects adopted the generalized TTB strategy. The RT approach is also validated in an experimental condition in which use of a RAT strategy is essentially forced upon subjects.

Keywords: decision making; response times; paired-comparison inference; take-the-best; heuristics

Chapter.  15056 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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