Table_1_Effortful Processing Reduces the Attraction Effect in Multi-Alternative Decision Making: An Electrophysiological Study Using a Task-Irrelevant.docx (679.39 kB)
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Table_1_Effortful Processing Reduces the Attraction Effect in Multi-Alternative Decision Making: An Electrophysiological Study Using a Task-Irrelevant Probe Technique.docx

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posted on 24.04.2019, 06:00 by Takashi Tsuzuki, Yuji Takeda, Itsuki Chiba

The attraction effect in multi-alternative decision making reflects the context-dependent violation of axioms that are considered fundamental to rational choice. This effect is believed to depend on relatively effortless and intuitive processing (System 1) rather than on effortful and elaborative processing (System 2). To investigate the relationship between cognitive resources and the attraction effect in detail, we used a task-irrelevant probe technique, wherein task-irrelevant auditory probes were presented while participants viewed each alternative in a decision-making task, and measured the electroencephalographic responses to the probes. Thirty participants solved 48 hypothetical purchase problems with three alternatives that differed in terms of two attributes. We found that, in the second epoch of the experimental trials (possibly corresponding to the evaluation and comparison stage), the mean N1 amplitudes of the event-related potentials elicited by the auditory probes were significantly smaller when participants chose the competitor (i.e., trials in which no attraction effect occurred) than when participants chose the target (i.e., trials in which an attraction effect may have occurred). This result suggests that the allocation of more cognitive resources to the alternatives disrupts the attraction effect. This finding supports the assumption that intuitive comparisons among alternatives executed by System 1 are critical for the occurrence of the attraction effect.

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