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ERIC Number: EJ1088684
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Lost in Search: (Mal-)Adaptation to Probabilistic Decision Environments in Children and Adults
Betsch, Tilmann; Lehmann, Anne; Lindow, Stefanie; Lang, Anna; Schoemann, Martin
Developmental Psychology, v52 n2 p311-325 Feb 2016
Adaptive decision making in probabilistic environments requires individuals to use probabilities as weights in predecisional information searches and/or when making subsequent choices. Within a child-friendly computerized environment (Mousekids), we tracked 205 children's (105 children 5-6 years of age and 100 children 9-10 years of age) and 103 adults' (age range: 21-22 years) search behaviors and decisions under different probability dispersions (0.17; 0.33, 0.83 vs. 0.50, 0.67, 0.83) and constraint conditions (instructions to limit search: "yes" vs. "no"). All age groups limited their depth of search when instructed to do so and when probability dispersion was high (range: 0.17-0.83). Unlike adults, children failed to use probabilities as weights for their searches, which were largely not systematic. When examining choices, however, elementary school children (unlike preschoolers) systematically used probabilities as weights in their decisions. This suggests that an intuitive understanding of probabilities and the capacity to use them as weights during integration is not a sufficient condition for applying simple selective search strategies that place one's focus on weight distributions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A