Adaptive Decision Making in a Dynamic Environment: A Test of a Sequential Sampling Model of Relative Judgment

Vuckovic, Anita, Kwantes, Peter J. and Neal, Andrew (2013) Adaptive Decision Making in a Dynamic Environment: A Test of a Sequential Sampling Model of Relative Judgment. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Applied, 19 3: 266-284. doi:10.1037/a0034384

Author Vuckovic, Anita
Kwantes, Peter J.
Neal, Andrew
Title Adaptive Decision Making in a Dynamic Environment: A Test of a Sequential Sampling Model of Relative Judgment
Journal name Journal of Experimental Psychology-Applied   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1076-898X
Publication date 2013-09
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/a0034384
Open Access Status
Volume 19
Issue 3
Start page 266
End page 284
Total pages 20
Place of publication Washington, DC United States
Publisher American Psychological Association
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
 Research has identified a wide range of factors that influence performance in relative judgment tasks. However, the findings from this research have been inconsistent. Studies have varied with respect to the identification of causal variables and the perceptual and decision-making mechanisms underlying performance. Drawing on the ecological rationality approach, we present a theory of the judgment and decision-making processes involved in a relative judgment task that explains how people judge a stimulus and adapt their decision process to accommodate their own uncertainty associated with those judgments. Undergraduate participants performed a simulated air traffic control conflict detection task. Across two experiments, we systematically manipulated variables known to affect performance. In the first experiment, we manipulated the relative distances of aircraft to a common destination while holding aircraft speeds constant. In a follow-up experiment, we introduced a direct manipulation of relative speed. We then fit a sequential sampling model to the data, and used the best fitting parameters to infer the decision-making processes responsible for performance. Findings were consistent with the theory that people adapt to their own uncertainty by adjusting their criterion and the amount of time they take to collect evidence in order to make a more accurate decision. From a practical perspective, the paper demonstrates that one can use a sequential sampling model to understand performance in a dynamic environment, allowing one to make sense of and interpret complex patterns of empirical findings that would otherwise be difficult to interpret using standard statistical analyses
Keyword Decision making
Relative judgment
Conflict detection
Air Traffic Control
Accuracy Trade Off
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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