Controlling Stable and Unstable Dynamic Decision Making Environments

Abstract

In the present study we ask: Are people sensitive to the stability of a dynamic environment under short exposure to it? To examine this we investigate people’s cue manipulation and strategy application when instructed to learn to control an outcome in a dynamic system by intervening on three cues. The system was designed in such a ways that in the Stable condition participants controlled an outcome that fluctuated steadily overall 40 trials, and in the Unstable condition the outcome fluctuated erratically over 40 trials. In the present study we show that people tended to intervene more frequently on all three cues when the system was Unstable compared to the when the system was Stable. Overall, the evidence from this study supports the general prediction made from the Monitoring and Control framework (Osman, 2010a, 2010b).


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