Sequential Processing of Cues in Memory-Based Multiattribute Decisions

Arndt Bröder and Wolfgang Gaissmaier

in Heuristics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199744282
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894727 | DOI:
Sequential Processing of Cues in Memory-Based Multiattribute Decisions

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When probabilistic inferences have to be made from cue values stored in long-term memory, many participants appear to use fast-and-frugal heuristics, such as “take-the-best” (TTB), that assume sequential search of cues. A simultaneous global matching process with cue weights that are appropriately chosen would mimic the decision outcomes, albeit assuming different cognitive processes. This chapter presents a reanalysis of response times (RTs) from five published experiments (n =415) and one new experiment (n = 82) that support the assumption of sequential search. In all instances in which decision outcomes indicated the use of TTB's decision rule, decision times increased monotonically with the number of cues that had to be searched in memory. Furthermore, RT patterns fitted the outcome-based strategy classifications, which further validates both measures.

Keywords: strategy selection; fast-and-frugal heuristics; memory; response times; take-the-best

Chapter.  3394 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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