Development of decision making based on internal and external information: A hierarchical Bayesian approach

Jacqueline N. Zadelaar, Joost A. Agelink van Rentergem, Jessica V. Schaaf, Tycho J. Dekkers, Nathalie de Vent, Laura M. S. Dekkers, Maria C. Olthof, Brenda R. J. Jansen, Hilde M. Huizenga
2021 Judgment and Decision Making  
AbstractIn decision making, people may rely on their own information as well as on information from external sources, such as family members, peers, or experts. The current study investigated how these types of information are used by comparing four decision strategies: 1) an internal strategy that relies solely on own information; 2) an external strategy that relies solely on the information from an external source; 3) a sequential strategy that relies on information from an external source
more » ... y after own information is deemed inadequate; 4) an integrative strategy that relies on an integration of both types of information. Of specific interest were individual and developmental differences in strategy use. Strategy use was examined via Bayesian hierarchical mixture model analysis. A visual decision task was administered to children and young adolescents (N=305, ages 9–14). Individual differences but no age-related changes were observed in either decision accuracy or strategy use. The internal strategy was dominant across ages, followed by the integrative and sequential strategy, respectively, while the external strategy was extremely rare. This suggests a reluctance to rely entirely on information provided by external sources. We conclude that there are individual differences but not developmental changes in strategy use pertaining to perceptual decision-making in 9- through 14-year-olds. Generalizability of these findings is discussed with regard to different forms of social influence and varying perceptions of the external source. This study provides stepping stones in better understanding and modeling decision making processes in the presence of both internal and external information.
doi:10.1017/s1930297500008482 fatcat:txrdzkyqsbdybngizgdgkldphi