Goal-Proximity Decision Making: Who needs reward anyway?


Reinforcement learning (RL) models of decision-making cannot account for human decisions in the absence of prior reward or punishment. We propose a mechanism for choosing among available options based on goal-option association strengths, where association strengths between objects represent object proximity. The proposed mechanism, Goal-Proximity Decision-making (GPD), is implemented within the ACT-R cognitive framework. A one-choice navigation experiment is presented. GPD captures human performance in the early trials of the experiment, where RL cannot.

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