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Don't bet on it! Wagering as a measure of awareness in decision making under uncertainty

Konstantinidis, E; Shanks, DR; (2014) Don't bet on it! Wagering as a measure of awareness in decision making under uncertainty. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General , 143 (6) 2111 - 2134. 10.1037/a0037977. Green open access

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Abstract

Can our decisions be guided by unconscious or implicit influences? According to the somatic marker hypothesis, emotion-based signals can guide our decisions in uncertain environments outside awareness. Postdecision wagering, in which participants make wagers on the outcomes of their decisions, has been recently proposed as an objective and sensitive measure of conscious content. In 5 experiments we employed variations of a classic decision-making assessment, the Iowa Gambling Task, in combination with wagering in order to investigate the role played by unconscious influences. We examined the validity of postdecision wagering by comparing it with alternative measures of conscious knowledge, specifically confidence ratings and quantitative questions. Consistent with a putative role for unconscious influences, in Experiments 2 and 3 we observed a lag between choice accuracy and the onset of advantageous wagering. However, the lag was eliminated by a change in the wagering payoff matrix (Experiment 2) and by a switch from a binary wager response to either a binary or a 4-point confidence response (Experiment 3), and wagering underestimated awareness compared to explicit quantitative questions (Experiments 1 and 4). Our results demonstrate the insensitivity of postdecision wagering as a direct measure of conscious knowledge and challenge the claim that implicit processes influence decision making under uncertainty.

Type: Article
Title: Don't bet on it! Wagering as a measure of awareness in decision making under uncertainty
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/a0037977
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037977
Language: English
Additional information: (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
UCL classification: UCL
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 > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1452161
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