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Advice-taking as a bridge between decision neuroscience and mental capacity

van der Plas, E; David, AS; Fleming, SM; (2019) Advice-taking as a bridge between decision neuroscience and mental capacity. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry , 67 , Article 101504. 10.1016/j.ijlp.2019.101504. Green open access

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Abstract

A person's capacity to process advice is an important aspect of decision making in the real world. For example, in decisions about treatment, the way patients respond to the advice of family, friends and medical professionals may be used (intentionally or otherwise) as a marker of the “use or weigh” requirement of decision-making capacity. Here we explore neuroscientific research on decision-making to identify features of advice-taking that help conceptualize this requirement. We focus on studies of the neural and computational basis of decision-making in laboratory settings. These studies originally investigated simple perceptual decisions about ambiguous stimuli, but have more recently been extended to more complex “value-based” decisions involving the comparison of subjective preferences. Value-based decisions are a useful model system for capacity-related decision-making as they do not have an objectively ‘correct’ answer and are instead based on subjective preferences. In this context, advice-taking can be seen as a process in which new evidence for one or other option is integrated, leading to altered behaviour or choices. We use this framework to distinguish between different types of advice-taking: private compliance consists of updating one's privately held beliefs based on new evidence, whereas in the case of public compliance, people change their behaviour at a surface level without shifting their privately-held beliefs. Importantly, both types of advice-taking may lead to similar outcomes but rely on different decision processes. We suggest that understanding how multiple mechanisms drive advice-taking holds promise for targeting decision-making support and improving our understanding of the use and weigh requirement in cases of contested capacity.

Type: Article
Title: Advice-taking as a bridge between decision neuroscience and mental capacity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2019.101504
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2019.101504
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).
Keywords: Social Sciences, Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Law, Psychiatry, Government & Law, Capacity, Decision-making capacity, Advice-taking, Decision neuroscience, 1ST-EPISODE SCHIZOPHRENIA, NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL BASIS, PREFRONTAL CORTEX, COGNITIVE CONTROL, NEURAL BASIS, REPRESENTATION, METACOGNITION, CONFIDENCE, INSIGHT, MECHANISMS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091047
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