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Determinants of economic choice and information-seeking behavior

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In this talk I will present two separate studies examining factors at play in economic decisions and decisions to seek information. The first study investigates how feelings predict gambling decisions. Intuitively how we feel about potential outcomes should determine our decisions; however we know very little about the computations that transform feelings into choice. We characterized such a model that not only uses feelings to predict individual choice but performs better than existing value-based models of choice. We also showed that the extent to which feelings about losses are overweighed during choice predict individual difference in decision-making biases such as loss aversion. In the second part of the talk, I will present preliminary data from an ongoing project examining information-seeking behavior and trying to address the following questions. Do humans prefer information, even when this information is not useful? Is this preference for information dependent on affective context and expectations? I will discuss potential implications and models of information-seeking decisions.

This talk is part of the Marr Club series.

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