uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
BETA
Millroth, Philip
Publications (10 of 12) Show all publications
Millroth, P. (2020). Integrating Probability- and Value Information in Judgment and Decision-Making under Risk: Cognitive Processes, Competence, and Performance. (Doctoral dissertation). Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrating Probability- and Value Information in Judgment and Decision-Making under Risk: Cognitive Processes, Competence, and Performance
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many instances in human affairs involve considering the value of different outcomes and the probability (or risk) of these outcomes occuring (e.g., gambling, financial decision-making, medical decision-making, criminal behavior). The point of departure for present thesis is that descriptive theories of judgment- and decision making under risk have yet to fully utilize explanations grounded in accounts of how people integrate outcomes with their adherent probabilities. The most widely embraced accounts are positioned on opposite ends of a spectrum, holding either (i) that people consistently and effortlessly engage in the normative principle of multiplicatively integrating the value or utility of possible outcomes with their adherent probabilities (i.e., weighting), or (ii) that people only have the ability to engage in simple heuristics or context-dependent sampling strategies. The present thesis proposes that the field should consider positions between these extreme positions. To this end, three empirical studies were conducted in which people evaluated risky prospects in the form of numerically described monetary lotteries.

The studies show that use of weighting was robust to increases of cognitive demands, as when (i) other evaluations are not available as reference points (Study I), (ii) outcomes and probabilities are presented sequentially before the evaluation (Study II), and (iii) the prospect structure involves two independent outcomes (Study III). The results suggest that - even if people can turn to heuristics when they are more efficient, for specific stages in the decision process, or for very complex problems - people indeed have both the inclination and ability to weight the outcomes by their probabilities in the evaluation of individual prospects, or for a subset of decision alternatives.

In contrast to popular weighting models, however, the cognitive-modeling efforts throughout the studies speak against the notion that the weighting process can be assumed to be consistent and effortless. Instead, the cognitive process of weighting outcomes and probabilities is better characterized as an anchoring-and-adjustment strategy: people anchor on the value of the outcome and make linear adjustments downwards to account for probability. The studies show that these adjustments are often insufficient or noise-prone when the cognitive demands increase due to (i) properties of the task environment (Study I and Study II), or (ii) lack of domain-specific knowledge (i.e., numeracy and financial literacy, Study III). In conclusion, the thesis has highlighted the important, but previously neglected, nuances of human cognition in judgment and decision-making under risk - nuances found between previously conflicting standpoints. Future research exploring these nuances should make a necessary distinction between people’s underlying competence and the performance they exhibit at a given moment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2020. p. 83
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 178
Keywords
Judgment, Decision-making, Risk, Cognition, Information pro-cessing, Information integration
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-407865 (URN)978-91-513-0924-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-05-20, Humanistiska Teatern, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3C, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-04-29 Created: 2020-03-30 Last updated: 2020-04-29
Millroth, P., Juslin, P., Winman, A., Nilsson, H. & Lindskog, M. (2020). Preference or Ability: Exploring the Relations between Risk Preference, Personality, and Cognitive Abilities.. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 33(1), 1-15
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Preference or Ability: Exploring the Relations between Risk Preference, Personality, and Cognitive Abilities.
Show others...
2020 (English)In: Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, ISSN 0894-3257|, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 1-15Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Keywords
risk preferences, personality, cognitive abilities
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-402715 (URN)10.1002/bdm.2171 (DOI)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2020-01-18 Created: 2020-01-18 Last updated: 2020-02-04Bibliographically approved
Ågren, T., Millroth, P., Andersson, P., Ridzén, M. & Björkstrand, J. (2019). Detailed analysis of skin conductance responses during a gambling task: Decision, anticipation, and outcomes. Psychophysiology, 56(6), Article ID e13338.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Detailed analysis of skin conductance responses during a gambling task: Decision, anticipation, and outcomes
Show others...
2019 (English)In: Psychophysiology, ISSN 0048-5772, E-ISSN 1469-8986, Vol. 56, no 6, article id e13338Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Physiological arousal is considered a key factor of gambling behavior. Hence, to understand gambling behavior it is important to study the arousal responses during gambling. Moreover, crucial mechanisms of action could be uncovered by detailing the situations that produce an arousal response. A gamble, or bet, can be partitioned into three distinct phases: (a) decision phase, during which the information concerning the gamble is presented, outcomes are appraised, and a decision is made on how to gamble; (b) anticipation phase, during which the result of the gamble is awaited; (c) outcome phase, during which the outcome of the gamble is presented. Previous research on arousal responses to gambling have mostly measured tonic changes in arousal, and when phasic responses have been measured, analyses have generally concentrated on one of the gamble phases. The aim of the present study was to map the arousal responses during gambling in more detail by measuring skin conductance responses (SCRs) during all three gamble phases of a simple card game. The anticipation phase was found to produce the largest arousal response, suggesting anticipation to be a major contributor to arousal during gambling behavior. Risk behavior during the gambling task was mirrored in self-reported risk taking in everyday life, and risk-takers displayed smaller SCRs compared to nonrisk-takers during decision making, suggesting this as a possible biomarker for risk-taking individuals.

National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-383526 (URN)10.1111/psyp.13338 (DOI)000467437800012 ()30672602 (PubMedID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2019-05-16 Created: 2019-05-16 Last updated: 2019-06-10Bibliographically approved
Millroth, P., Guath, M. & Juslin, P. (2019). Memory and decision making: Effects of sequential presentation of probabilities and outcomes in risky prospects. Journal of experimental psychology. General, 148(2), 304-324
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Memory and decision making: Effects of sequential presentation of probabilities and outcomes in risky prospects
2019 (English)In: Journal of experimental psychology. General, ISSN 0096-3445, E-ISSN 1939-2222, Vol. 148, no 2, p. 304-324Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The rationality of decision making under risk is of central concern in psychology and other behavioral sciences. In real-life, the information relevant to a decision often arrives sequentially or changes over time, implying nontrivial demands on memory. Yet, little is known about how this affects the ability to make rational decisions and a default assumption is rather that information about outcomes and probabilities are simultaneously available at the time of the decision. In 4 experiments, we show that participants receiving probability- and outcome information sequentially report substantially (29 to 83%) higher certainty equivalents than participants with simultaneous presentation. This holds also for monetary-incentivized participants with perfect recall of the information. Participants in the sequential conditions often violate stochastic dominance in the sense that they pay more for a lottery with low probability of an outcome than participants in the simultaneous condition pay for a high probability of the same outcome. Computational modeling demonstrates that Cumulative Prospect Theory (Tversky & Kahneman, 1992) fails to account for the effects of sequential presentation, but a model assuming anchoring-and adjustment constrained by memory can account for the data. By implication, established assumptions of rationality may need to be reconsidered to account for the effects of memory in many real-life tasks.

Keywords
judgment and decision making under risk, memory, sequential presentation, anchoring and adjustment
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-361937 (URN)10.1037/xge0000438 (DOI)000456244600007 ()29878808 (PubMedID)
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilMarcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation
Available from: 2018-09-28 Created: 2018-09-28 Last updated: 2020-03-30Bibliographically approved
Millroth, P., Nilsson, H. & Juslin, P. (2019). The decision paradoxes motivating Prospect Theory: The prevalence of the paradoxes increases with numerical ability. Judgment and decision making, 14(4), 513-533
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The decision paradoxes motivating Prospect Theory: The prevalence of the paradoxes increases with numerical ability
2019 (English)In: Judgment and decision making, ISSN 1930-2975, E-ISSN 1930-2975, Vol. 14, no 4, p. 513-533Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Prospect Theory (PT: Kahneman & Tversky, 1979) of risky decision making is based on psychological phenomena (paradoxes) that motivate assumptions about how people react to gains and losses, and how they weight outcomes with probabilities. Recent studies suggest that people's numeracy affect their decision making. We therefore conducted a large-scale conceptual replication of the seminal study by Kahneman and Tversky (1979), where we targeted participants with larger variability in numeracy. Because people low in numeracy may be more dependent on anchors in the form of other judgments we also manipulated design type (within-subject design, vs. single-stimuli design, where participants assess only one problem). The results from about 1,800 participants showed that design type had no effect on the modal choices. The rate of replication of the paradoxes in Kahneman and Tversky was poor and positively related to the participants' numeracy. The Probabilistic Insurance Effect was observed at all levels of numeracy. The Reflection Effects were not fully replicated at any numeracy level. The Certainty and Isolation Effects explained by nonlinear probability weighting were replicated only at high numeracy. No participant exhibited all 9 paradoxes and more than 50% of the participants exhibited at most three of the 9 paradoxes. The choices by the participants with low numeracy were consistent with a shift towards a cautionary non-compensatory strategy of minimizing the risk of receiving the worst possible outcome. We discuss the implications for the psychological assumptions of PT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SOC JUDGMENT & DECISION MAKING, 2019
Keywords
prospect theory, replication, numeracy, experimental design
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-392873 (URN)000477796000009 ()
Available from: 2019-09-26 Created: 2019-09-26 Last updated: 2019-09-26Bibliographically approved
Millroth, P., Juslin, P., Eriksson, E. & Ågren, T. (2017). Disentangling the effects of serotonin on risk perception: S-carriers of 5-HTTLPR are primarily concerned with the magnitude of the outcomes, not the uncertainty.. Paper presented at US. Behavioral Neuroscience, 131(5), 421-427
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Disentangling the effects of serotonin on risk perception: S-carriers of 5-HTTLPR are primarily concerned with the magnitude of the outcomes, not the uncertainty.
2017 (English)In: Behavioral Neuroscience, ISSN 0735-7044, E-ISSN 1939-0084, Vol. 131, no 5, p. 421-427Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Serotonin signaling is vital for reward processing, and hence, also for decision-making. The serotonin transporter gene linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) has been connected to decision making, suggesting that short-allele carriers (s) are more risk averse than long-allele homozygotes (ll). However, previous research has not identified if this occurs because s-carriers (i) are more sensitive to the uncertainty of the outcomes or (ii) are more sensitive to the magnitude of the outcomes. This issue was disentangled using a willingness-to-pay task, where the participants evaluated prospects involving certain gains, uncertain gains, and ambiguous gains. The results clearly favored the hypothesis that s-carriers react more to the magnitude of the outcomes. Self-reported measures of everyday risk-taking behavior also favored this hypothesis. We discuss how these results are in line with recent research on the serotonergic impact on reward processing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Psychological Association, 2017
Keywords
Cognitive Processes, Decision Making, Judgment, Risk Perception, Risk Taking, Rewards, Serotonin, Alleles, Neurotransmitter Transporters
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333475 (URN)10.1037/bne0000209 (DOI)000416437800006 ()
Conference
US
Available from: 2017-11-14 Created: 2017-11-14 Last updated: 2018-03-07Bibliographically approved
Juslin, P., Elwin, E., Guath, M., Millroth, P. & Nilsson, H. (2016). Sequential and myopic: On the use of feedback to balance cost and utility in a simulated electricity efficiency task. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 28(1), 106-128
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sequential and myopic: On the use of feedback to balance cost and utility in a simulated electricity efficiency task
Show others...
2016 (English)In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 106-128Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While there is extensive research on feedback, little research is aimed at the use of feedback to optimise conflicting goals. A task modelled after In Home Displays for providing feedback about electricity cost was designed to investigate the effects of feedback frequency, detail, and stability, when participants try to balance cost and utility. Frequent feedback proved to be advantageous in a deterministic system, but feedback aggregated over time was advantageous in a system with noisy feedback. Surprisingly, performance was better with noisy feedback, where the probabilism, in effect, acted as a filter, highlighting the applications that are most important for the cost and the utility. Computational modelling suggested that the best-fitting model assumes that the participants are sequential, considering one goal at a time, first satisfying the cost budget, only thereafter trying to maximise the utility, and reflexive, myopically responding primarily to the feedback explicitly available on a given trial.

Keywords
Feedback, optimisation, goal conflict, cognitive myopia, energy efficiency
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-274420 (URN)10.1080/20445911.2015.1095192 (DOI)000367337800008 ()
Funder
StandUp
Available from: 2016-01-21 Created: 2016-01-21 Last updated: 2018-04-18Bibliographically approved
Guath, M., Millroth, P. & Juslin, P. (2015). Does Sequential or Simultaneous Presentation of Value and Probability Affect the Information Integration in Risky Prospects?. In: : . Paper presented at SPUDM 25th Biannual Conference, Budapest, Hungary. August 2015..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Does Sequential or Simultaneous Presentation of Value and Probability Affect the Information Integration in Risky Prospects?
2015 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-284525 (URN)
Conference
SPUDM 25th Biannual Conference, Budapest, Hungary. August 2015.
Available from: 2016-04-18 Created: 2016-04-18 Last updated: 2016-04-18
Guath, M., Millroth, P., Juslin, P. & Elwin, E. (2015). Optimizing Electricity Consumption: A Case of Function Learning. Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, 21(4), 326-341
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Optimizing Electricity Consumption: A Case of Function Learning
2015 (English)In: Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, ISSN 1076-898X, E-ISSN 1939-2192, Vol. 21, no 4, p. 326-341Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A popular way to improve consumers' control over their electricity consumption is by providing outcome feedback on the cost with in-home displays. Research on function learning, however, suggests that outcome feedback may not always be ideal for learning, especially if the feedback signal is noisy. In this study, we relate research on function learning to in-home displays and use a laboratory task simulating a household to investigate the role of outcome feedback and function learning on electricity optimization. Three function training schemes (FTSs) are presented that convey specific properties of the functions that relate the electricity consumption to the utility and cost. In Experiment 1, we compared learning from outcome feedback with 3 FTSs, 1 of which allowed maximization of the utility while keeping the budget, despite no feedback about the total monthly cost. In Experiment 2, we explored the combination of this FTS and outcome feedback. The results suggested that electricity optimization may be facilitated if feedback learning is preceded by a brief period of function training.

Keywords
function learning, electricity consumption, electricity optimization, in-home displays
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-272132 (URN)10.1037/xap0000056 (DOI)000366318200002 ()26460677 (PubMedID)
Funder
StandUp
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2018-04-17Bibliographically approved
Millroth, P. & Juslin, P. (2015). Prospect evaluation as a function of numeracy and probability denominator. Cognition, 138, 1-9
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prospect evaluation as a function of numeracy and probability denominator
2015 (English)In: Cognition, ISSN 0010-0277, E-ISSN 1873-7838, Vol. 138, p. 1-9Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-269798 (URN)
Available from: 2015-12-18 Created: 2015-12-18 Last updated: 2017-12-01
Organisations

Search in DiVA

Show all publications