Is human decision making under ambiguity guided by loss frequency regardless of the costs? A developmental study using the Soochow Gambling Task
Contributor(s)Laboratoire de Psychologie du Développement et de l'Education de l'enfant (LaPsyDE) ; Université de Caen Basse-Normandie (UNICAEN) - Université Paris Descartes - Paris 5 (UPD5) - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 (CGS i3) ; MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL Research University (PSL) - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
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Converging developmental decision-making studies have demonstrated that until late adolescence, individuals prefer options for which the risk of a loss is low regardless of the final outcome. Recent works have shown a similar inability to consider both loss frequency and final outcome among adults. The current study aimed to identify developmental changes in feedback-monitoring ability to consider both loss frequency and final outcome in decision making under ambiguity. Children, adolescents, and adults performed an adapted version of the Soochow Gambling Task. Our results showed that children and adolescents presented an exclusive preference for options associated with infrequent punishment. In contrast, only adults seemed to consider both loss fre- quency and the final outcome by favoring the advantageous options when the frequency of losses was low. These findings sug- gest that the ability to integrate both loss frequency and final out- come develops with age. Moreover, the analysis of strategic adjustments following gains and losses reveals that adults switch less often after losses compared with children and adolescents. This finding suggests that psychological tolerance to loss may facil- itate learning the characteristics of each option and improve the ability to choose advantageously.