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Unexpected uncertainty in decision making: how it influences self-generated thought

Hauptmeijer, Ryanne (2019) Unexpected uncertainty in decision making: how it influences self-generated thought. Bachelor's Thesis, Artificial Intelligence.


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The aim of this study was to investigate whether unexpected uncertainty in decision-making can affect the degree and content of self-generated thought. Unexpected uncertainty is a sudden and fundamental change, that forces someone to adjust their beliefs, based on their experiences, to make good decisions. To address that question, we alternated a decision-making task in which uncertainty could be manipulated and used a sustained attention task in which self-generated thought could be measured. The decision-making task was a two-armed restless bandit task with jumping outcome probabilities representing unexpected uncertainty. To assess self-generated thinking, we used a metronome response task (MRT). During this task, thought content was measured by means of randomly placed questions about what the participant was thinking. We found that participants did report to think about the decision task during the MRT. However, we were unable to find a significant increase in the reports about the decision task after unexpected uncertainty was introduced, so, after a jump of outcome probability. The lack of significance could be explained by the low power of the experiment due to too little observations. In addition, not all participants appeared to understand the task.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Vugt, M.K.
Degree programme: Artificial Intelligence
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2019
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2019 14:50

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