Data_Sheet_1_Analyzing Abstraction and Hierarchical Decision-Making in Absolute Identification by Information-Theoretic Bounded Rationality.pdf (8.94 MB)
Download file

Data_Sheet_1_Analyzing Abstraction and Hierarchical Decision-Making in Absolute Identification by Information-Theoretic Bounded Rationality.pdf

Download (8.94 MB)
dataset
posted on 20.11.2019, 04:19 authored by Cecilia Lindig-León, Sebastian Gottwald, Daniel A. Braun

In the face of limited computational resources, bounded rational decision theory predicts that information-processing should be concentrated on actions that make a significant contribution in terms of the utility achieved. Accordingly, information-processing can be simplified by choosing stereotypic actions that lead to satisfactory performance over a range of different inputs rather than choosing a specific action for each input. Such a set of similar inputs with similar action responses would then correspond to an abstraction that can be harnessed with possibly negligible loss in utility, but with potentially considerable savings in information-processing effort. Here we test this prediction in an identification task, where human subjects were asked to estimate the roundness of ellipses varying from a straight line to a perfect circle. Crucially, when reporting their estimates, subjects could choose between three different levels of precision corresponding to three levels of abstraction in a decision-making hierarchy. To induce changes in level selection, we manipulated the information-processing resources available at the perceptual and action stages by varying the difficulty of identifying the stimulus and by enforcing different response times in the action stage. In line with theoretical predictions, we find that subjects adapt their abstraction level depending on the available resources. We compare subjects' behavior to the maximum efficiency predicated by the bounded rational decision-making model and investigate possible sources of inefficiency.

History

References