Decisions to intervene on causal systems are adaptively selected

Anna CoenenNYU
Bob RehderNYU
Todd GureckisNYU

Abstract

How do people choose interventions to learn about a causal system? Here, we tested two possibilities: an optimal information sampling strategy which aims to discriminate between multiple hypotheses, and a second strategy that aims to confirm individual hypotheses. We show in Experiment 1 that individual behavior is best fit using a mixture of these two options. In a second experiment, we find that people are able to adaptively alter the strategies they use in response to their expected payoff in a particular task environment.

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Decisions to intervene on causal systems are adaptively selected (771 KB)



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