For questions about organisms' ability to make reasoned decisions that are optimal for achieving a goal or solving a problem.

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4
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0answers
27 views

Why can't subjective utilities take probabilities into account?

If my understanding of expected utility theory is correct, it is rational for a decision maker to have subjective utilities for objective consequences. For example, it can be rational for a ...
3
votes
0answers
25 views

How does conscious rational internal thought gets initiated - what gives rise to it on any given day?

I'm reading a book called "The power of now" by Ekhart Tolle, and in that book he suggests that internal dialogue/monologue/planning/judging can be first observed, then disidentified with and ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Can we explain the tendency of investors dollar cost averaging in terms of loss aversion?

For those unfamiliar with the term Dollar cost averaging (DCA) is an investment strategy for reducing the impact of volatility on large purchases of financial assets such as equities. By ...
1
vote
2answers
159 views

What drives civilization? [closed]

Fossil record indicates humanity arose on the African Continent - in/around Gauteng. Yet the oldest civilizations on record are far afield - Ebla, Mesopotamia What drives civilization? Why is the ...
9
votes
2answers
250 views

Do people estimate combined probabilities differently to uncombined ones?

Suppose, somebody has to estimate the likelihood of one of the following events (or has to estimate which event is more likely): A coin is tossed six times and each time the result is heads. ...
2
votes
1answer
200 views

Which branch of psychology deals with decision making under stress?

Our decisions are usually based on a system of perspectives, which in turn are based on one's own set of values. However there are traumatizing situations where this system of perspectives is turned ...
1
vote
3answers
344 views

Is fear rational? [closed]

Let's suppose a big ugly monster thingy wants to eat you. While you're running away from it, you're feeling fear. Can this situation be considered one where fear would be rational?
3
votes
0answers
107 views

Causal reasoning(implicit models?) vs grammar of native language [on hold]

I was reading about linguistic relativity and it struck me that there could also be differences in multilingual individuals and mono/bi-lingual individuals on how they derive/reason/create structure ...
38
votes
3answers
3k views

What makes people easily subscribe to pseudoscientific theories?

There are many theories/disciplines that have been categorized as pseudoscience in the scientific community. The list includes many things that are regularly even quoted in media like graphology, ...
11
votes
0answers
192 views

Human behaviour in one-shot perfect information games

Background A one-shot game is one where two participants have some set of actions $\{1, ... , n\}$, they make their decision on which option to take (without knowing the decision of their partner, or ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What tasks does Bayesian decision-making model poorly?

Bayesianism has been a relatively successful paradigm for modeling decision-making. However, not every psychologist is a bayesian, and there are tasks such as the Tversky & Shafir (1992) ...
11
votes
2answers
252 views

How can the success of Bayesian models be reconciled with demonstrations of heuristic and biased reasoning?

In recent years, Bayesian models of cognition have been used - with considerable success - to explain human reasoning in a variety of inferential tasks (Chater, Tenenbaum, & Yuille, 2006). These ...
6
votes
0answers
156 views

Online datasets for the disjunction effect and violations of the sure-thing principle

The disjunction effect (or violation of the sure-thing principle) is as follows: A dis­junc­tion effect occurs when peo­ple pre­fer x over y when they know that event A obtains, and they also ...
18
votes
2answers
971 views

What are popular rationalist responses to Tversky & Shafir?

In the early 90s Tversky & Shafir observed several violations of rationality in human participants, in particular violation of the disjunction effect and sure-thing principle. This has lead to ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the definition of sanity? How can I prove someone either sane or insane?

In my experience the definition of insanity is thus: Insanity: The state of being seriously mentally ill, mad, and/or irrational. Is there a proper scientific definition of this term? While ...
8
votes
4answers
465 views

How is motivation influenced by chance of reward?

Sometimes, I work on a project where there is a chance that the whole project will become irrelevant before it is finished. I have noticed that even though I believe that the risk of this happening is ...
28
votes
2answers
500 views

Do students exhibit rational behavior in determining study time?

While I teach some economics classes, I must admit to near complete ignorance on the optimization processes students undertake when studying. We often say that the "best" students are those who earn ...