PREDICTING DECISION-MAKING STRATEGIES USING INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN WORKING MEMORY AND IMPULSIVITY
Rosasco, Cody Victor
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The prototypical dual process model of decision-making posits that decisions are made through the interaction between two systems of information processing. System 1 is generally said to be automatic and heuristic based and System 2 is generally said to be slow, controlled, and working memory centric. Different processing strategies can be predicted individually for a decision maker, based on the specific dual process model employed. This study examines individual differences in impulsivity, as defined by delay discounting (Kirby, Petry, & Bickel, 1999), and working memory capacity, as defined by operation span (Unsworth, Heitz, Schrock, & Engle, 2005), to predict a predominant processing mode within one dual process model of decision-making, that of Schiebener and Brand, 2015. Based on this model I hypothesize that individuals exhibiting lower levels of impulsivity and high working memory capacity are more likely to use a slow, analytical processing mode while individuals exhibiting high levels of impulsivity and lower working memory capacity are more likely to use a fast, heuristic mode of processing. Further, the use of specific heuristics was evaluated for those determined to use a primarily heuristic-based mode of processing. Logistic regression was used to calculate value functions across individuals and individual differences in intercepts and slopes of these functions were analyzed for evidence of variation in strategies of information processing. There was a significant effect of frame on choice indicating greater tendency to gamble when choices were phrased as losses and lesser tendency to gamble when choices were phrased as gains. The primary hypothesis was not supported though there was strong indication of a framing bias in choice behavior.