Children's Sensitivity to Cost and Reward in Decision Making across Distinct Domains of Probability, Effort, and Delay

Lisa Michelle Kopp, Nilam Ram, David M. Lydon-Staley, David DuPuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many behavioral paradigms used to study individuals' decision-making tendencies do not capture the decision components that contribute to behavioral outcomes, such as differentiating decisions driven toward a reward from decisions driven away from a cost. This study tested a novel decision-making task in a sample of 403 children (age 9 years) enrolled in an ongoing longitudinal study. The task consisted of three blocks representing distinct cost domains (delay, probability, and effort), wherein children were presented with a deck of cards, each of which consisted of a reward and a cost. Children elected whether to accept or skip the card at each trial. Reward–cost pairs were selected by using an adaptive algorithm to strategically sample the decision space in the fewest number of trials. Using person-specific regression models, decision preferences were quantified for each cost domain with respect to general tolerance (intercept), as well as parameters estimating the effect of incremental increases in reward or cost on the probability of accepting a card. Results support the relative independence of decision-making tendencies across cost domains, with moderate correlations observed between tolerance for delay and effort. Specific decision parameters showed unique associations with cognitive and behavioral measures including executive function, academic motivation, anxiety, and hyperactivity. Evidence indicates that sensitivity to reward is an important factor in incentivizing decisions to work harder or wait longer. Dissociating the relative contributions of reward and cost sensitivity in multiple domains may facilitate the identification of heterogeneity in suboptimal decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-24
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Behavioral Decision Making
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Reward
reward
Decision Making
decision making
Costs and Cost Analysis
costs
tolerance
decision model
Executive Function
Costs
Decision making
Longitudinal Studies
Motivation
longitudinal study
Anxiety
paradigm
anxiety
regression
human being
evidence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

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abstract = "Many behavioral paradigms used to study individuals' decision-making tendencies do not capture the decision components that contribute to behavioral outcomes, such as differentiating decisions driven toward a reward from decisions driven away from a cost. This study tested a novel decision-making task in a sample of 403 children (age 9 years) enrolled in an ongoing longitudinal study. The task consisted of three blocks representing distinct cost domains (delay, probability, and effort), wherein children were presented with a deck of cards, each of which consisted of a reward and a cost. Children elected whether to accept or skip the card at each trial. Reward–cost pairs were selected by using an adaptive algorithm to strategically sample the decision space in the fewest number of trials. Using person-specific regression models, decision preferences were quantified for each cost domain with respect to general tolerance (intercept), as well as parameters estimating the effect of incremental increases in reward or cost on the probability of accepting a card. Results support the relative independence of decision-making tendencies across cost domains, with moderate correlations observed between tolerance for delay and effort. Specific decision parameters showed unique associations with cognitive and behavioral measures including executive function, academic motivation, anxiety, and hyperactivity. Evidence indicates that sensitivity to reward is an important factor in incentivizing decisions to work harder or wait longer. Dissociating the relative contributions of reward and cost sensitivity in multiple domains may facilitate the identification of heterogeneity in suboptimal decision making.",
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Children's Sensitivity to Cost and Reward in Decision Making across Distinct Domains of Probability, Effort, and Delay. / Kopp, Lisa Michelle; Ram, Nilam; Lydon-Staley, David M.; DuPuis, David.

In: Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, Vol. 31, No. 1, 01.01.2018, p. 12-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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