Mark Mon-William's lecture
2010-12-14 2 pm — The art of predicting human behaviour and why we get stuck in a rut with decision making
Humans are expert decision makers capable of assimilating information rapidly and tailoring behaviour optimally, according to task constraints and context. The flexibility and rapidity of the decision-making mechanisms has led to humans being described as the ultimate opportunistic learning machines. Nevertheless, humans can sometimes select sub-optimal behaviours, with decision-making appearing to become ‘stuck in a rut’. How can we reconcile these apparently conflicting features of the system? A model of learning will be presented to show that the inertia sometimes evident in decision-making is a naturally emergent feature of a learning system. Empirical tests of the model will be reviewed together with a series of experiments that allow us to predict various aspects of reaching behaviour.