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Learning to make collective decisions: the impact of confidence escalation.

Mahmoodi, A; Bang, D; Ahmadabadi, MN; Bahrami, B; (2013) Learning to make collective decisions: the impact of confidence escalation. PLoS One , 8 (12) , Article e81195. 10.1371/journal.pone.0081195. Green open access

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Abstract

Little is known about how people learn to take into account others' opinions in joint decisions. To address this question, we combined computational and empirical approaches. Human dyads made individual and joint visual perceptual decision and rated their confidence in those decisions (data previously published). We trained a reinforcement (temporal difference) learning agent to get the participants' confidence level and learn to arrive at a dyadic decision by finding the policy that either maximized the accuracy of the model decisions or maximally conformed to the empirical dyadic decisions. When confidences were shared visually without verbal interaction, RL agents successfully captured social learning. When participants exchanged confidences visually and interacted verbally, no collective benefit was achieved and the model failed to predict the dyadic behaviour. Behaviourally, dyad members' confidence increased progressively and verbal interaction accelerated this escalation. The success of the model in drawing collective benefit from dyad members was inversely related to confidence escalation rate. The findings show an automated learning agent can, in principle, combine individual opinions and achieve collective benefit but the same agent cannot discount the escalation suggesting that one cognitive component of collective decision making in human may involve discounting of overconfidence arising from interactions.

Type: Article
Title: Learning to make collective decisions: the impact of confidence escalation.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081195
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0081195
Language: English
Additional information: �© 2013 Mahmoodi et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1417889
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