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Title: The role of unconscious influences on decision-making under uncertainty : behavioural and computational approaches
Author: Konstantinidis, E.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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How do people make decisions in uncertain environments and what types of knowl- edge control their choices? Can our decisions be guided by unconscious influences or intuitive “gut” feelings? According to the Somatic Marker Hypothesis, a popular account of the role of affect in decision-making, emotion-based signals can guide our decisions in uncertain environments outside awareness. However, evidence for this claim can be ques- tioned on the grounds of inadequate and insensitive assessments of conscious knowledge. In this work, variations of a classic experience-based decision-making paradigm, the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), are employed in combination with subjective measures of awareness in order to investigate the role played by unconscious influences. Specifically, the validity of post-decision wagering as a sensitive and bias-free measure of conscious content is examined and contrasted to confidence ratings and quantitative reports. The results demonstrate the inadequacy of post-decision wagering as a direct measure of conscious knowledge and also question the claim that implicit processes influence decision- making. In order to measure and understand the cognitive and psychological processes un- derlying performance on the IGT, computational modeling analyses are undertaken to provide deeper insights into the dynamics of decision-making. Reinforcement-learning models are evaluated using different model comparison techniques and a computational model of confidence ratings in decision-making under uncertainty is developed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available