abstract Stefan Scherbaum

Stefan Scherbaum (Department of Psychology, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)

A dynamic systems approach to decision-making under conflict.

The way people decide between conflicting alternatives is the target of great theoretical and empirical effort in psychology. A number of puzzling observations call for explanation: How do people adapt to conflict from one decision to another? Why do people sometimes choose disadvantageously? What triggers inconsistent decision-making behaviour? We argue that an empirical and modeling approach based on Dynamic Systems Theory (DST) could inspire and advance the investigation of decision-making processes by turning the focus on temporal patterns in theorizing, empirical investigation, and modeling. We will introduce into a DST-informed approach to decision making and we will illustrate how dynamic methods, namely EEG frequency tagging, choice movement tracing and analysis of sequential choice patterns, could be applied to basal decision-making (i.e. forced-choice conflict paradigms) as well as to higher level decision-making (i.e. intertemporal choice). Furthermore, we exemplify how DST-informed computational modeling supports the understanding of the observed decision-making behavior.

We will discuss benefits and pitfalls of the proposed approach in advancing our understanding of the processes of decision-making under conflict.