FOR "Psychoeconomics" TP 02 Time is Money

  • FB Psychologie
  Dambacher, Michael; Haffke, Peter; Groß, Daniel; Hübner, Ronald (2016): Graphs versus numbers : How information format affects risk aversion in gambling Judgment and Decision Making ; 11 (2016), 3. - S. 223-242. - eISSN 1930-2975

Graphs versus numbers : How information format affects risk aversion in gambling

In lottery gambling, the common phenomenon of risk aversion shows up as preference of the option with the higher win probability, even if a riskier alternative offers a greater expected value. Because riskier choices would optimize profitability in such cases, the present study investigates the visual format, with which lotteries are conveyed, as potential instrument to modulate risk attitudes. Previous research has shown that enhanced attention to graphical compared to numerical probabilities can increase risk aversion, but evidence for the reverse effect — reduced risk aversion through a graphical display of outcomes — is sparse. We conducted three experiments, in which participants repeatedly selected one of two lotteries. Probabilities and outcomes were either presented numerically or in a graphical format that consisted of pie charts (Experiment 1) or icon arrays (Experiment 2 and 3). Further, expected values were either higher in the safer or in the riskier lottery, or they did not differ between the options. Despite a marked risk aversion in all experiments, our results show that presenting outcomes as graphs can reduce — albeit not eliminate — risk aversion (Experiment 3). Yet, not all formats prove suitable, and non-intuitive outcome graphs can even enhance risk aversion (Experiment 1). Joint analyses of choice proportions and response times (RTs) further uncovered that risk aversion leads to safe choices particularly in fast decisions. This pattern is expressed under graphical probabilities, whereas graphical outcomes can weaken the rapid dominance of risk aversion and the variability over RTs (Experiment 1 and 2). Together, our findings demonstrate the relevance of information format for risky decisions.

Origin (projects)

    Janczyk, Markus; Dambacher, Michael; Bieleke, Maik; Gollwitzer, Peter M. (2015): The benefit of no choice : goal-directed plans enhance perceptual processing Psychological Research ; 79 (2015), 2. - S. 206-220. - ISSN 0340-0727. - eISSN 1430-2772

The benefit of no choice : goal-directed plans enhance perceptual processing

Choosing among different options is costly. Typically, response times are slower if participants can choose between several alternatives (free-choice) compared to when a stimulus determines a single correct response (forced-choice). This performance difference is commonly attributed to additional cognitive processing in free-choice tasks, which require time-consuming decisions between response options. Alternatively, the forced-choice advantage might result from facilitated perceptual processing, a prediction derived from the framework of implementation intentions. This hypothesis was tested in three experiments. Experiments 1 and 2 were PRP experiments and showed the expected underadditive interaction of the SOA manipulation and task type, pointing to a pre-central perceptual origin of the performance difference. Using the additive-factors logic, Experiment 3 further supported this view. We discuss the findings in the light of alternative accounts and offer potential mechanisms underlying performance differences in forced- and free-choice tasks.

Origin (projects)

    Dambacher, Michael; Hübner, Ronald (2013): Investigating the speed–accuracy trade-off : better use deadlines or response signals? Behavior Research Methods ; 45 (2013), 3. - S. 702-717. - ISSN 1554-351X. - eISSN 1554-3528

Investigating the speed–accuracy trade-off : better use deadlines or response signals?

Deadlines (DLs) and response signals (RSs) are two well-established techniques for investigating speed-accuracy trade-offs (SATs). Methodological differences imply, however, that corresponding data do not necessarily reflect equivalent processes. Specifically, the DL procedure grants knowledge about trial-specific time demands and requires responses before a prespecified period has elapsed. In contrast, RS intervals often vary unpredictably between trials, and responses must be given after an explicit signal. Here, we investigated the effects of these differences in a flanker task. While all conditions yielded robust SAT functions, a right-shift of the curves pointed to reduced performance in RS conditions (Experiment 1, blocked; Experiments 2 and 3, randomized), as compared with DL conditions (Experiments 1-3, blocked), indicating that the detection of the RS imposes additional task demands. Moreover, the flanker effect vanished at long intervals in RS settings, suggesting that stimulus-related effects are absorbed in a slack when decisions are completed prior to the signal. In turn, effects of a flat (Experiment 2) versus a performance-contingent payment (Experiment 3) indicated that susceptibility to response strategies is higher in the DL than in the RS method. Finally, the RS procedure led to a broad range of slow responses and high accuracies, whereas DL conditions resulted in smaller variations in the upper data range (Experiments 1 and 2); with performance-contingent payment (Experiment 3), though, data ranges became similar. Together, the results uncover characteristic procedure-related effects and should help in selection of the appropriate technique.

Origin (projects)

Funding sources
Name Project no. Description Period
Schwerpunktprogramm568/12no information
Schwerpunktprogramm492/16FOR TP 0201.04.2016 – 31.03.2019
Further information
Period: 01.10.2012 – 30.09.2015