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ERIC Number: EJ919464
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0023-9690
The Effects of a Concurrent Task on Human Optimization and Self Control
Reed, Phil; Thompson, Caitlin; Osborne, Lisa A.; McHugh, Louise
Learning and Motivation, v42 n2 p185-192 May 2011
Memory deficits have been shown to hamper decision making in a number of populations. In two experiments, participants were required to select one of three alternatives that varied in reinforcer amount and delay, and the effect of a concurrent task on a behavioral choice task that involved making either an impulsive, self-controlled, or optimal response was studied. The studies aimed to see whether or not individuals were capable of optimizing when confronted with a three-alternative choice paradigm, and if a concurrent task could induce over-selectivity toward a self-controlled, or impulsive, choice, rather than an optimal choice. Various factors which could possibly influence optimization were also explored. The results suggest that some, but not all, individuals are capable of optimizing in a three-alternative choice paradigm, especially when there is a great differential between reinforcement rates of optimal versus non-optimal behaviors. Participants with a concurrent task (continuously subtracting seven from a large number) displayed over-selectivity, evidenced by the high proportion of self-controlled responses.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A