Cognitive models of risky choice: Parameter stability and predictive accuracy of prospect theory

Glöckner, Andreas and Pachur, Thorsten. (2012) Cognitive models of risky choice: Parameter stability and predictive accuracy of prospect theory. Cognition, 123. pp. 21-32.

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In the behavioral sciences, a popular approach to describe and predict behavior is cognitive modeling with adjustable parameters (i.e., which can be fitted to data). Modeling with adjustable parameters allows, among other things, measuring differences between people. At the same time, parameter estimation also bears the risk of overfitting. Are individual differences as measured by model parameters stable enough to improve the ability to predict behavior as compared to modeling without adjustable parameters? We examined this issue in cumulative prospect theory (CPT), arguably the most widely used framework to model decisions under risk. Specifically, we examined (a) the temporal stability of CPT’s parameters; and (b) how well different implementations of CPT, varying in the number of adjustable parameters, predict individual choice relative to models with no adjustable parameters (such as CPT with fixed parameters, expected value theory, and various heuristics). We presented participants with risky choice problems and fitted CPT to each individual’s choices in two separate sessions (which were 1 week apart). All parameters were correlated across time, in particular when using a simple implementation of CPT. CPT allowing for individual variability in parameter values predicted individual choice better than CPT with fixed parameters, expected value theory, and the heuristics. CPT’s parameters thus seem to pick up stable individual differences that need to be considered when predicting risky choice.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Cognitive and Decision Sciences (Hertwig)
UniBasel Contributors:Pachur, Thorsten
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:10 Oct 2017 15:23
Deposited On:02 Mar 2017 11:14

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