Does the feedback from previous trials influence current decisions? A study on the role of feedback processing in making decisions under explicit risk conditions.

In: Journal of Neuropsychology, Jg. 6 (2008) ; Nr. 2, S. 431-443
ISSN: 1748-6645
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Angewandte Kognitionswissenschaften
Fakultät für Ingenieurwissenschaften » Informatik und Angewandte Kognitionswissenschaft
Investigated the influence of offering feedback in tasks examining decisions under risk conditions. Decision situations frequently provide information about the amount of gains and losses and winning probabilities. In decisions under these conditions, also called risk conditions, both the use of feedback and executive functions have been shown to influence the decision-making process, as revealed in different patient populations. In the present study, a 30 healthy participants (aged 19-34 years) were examined with the Game of Dice Task, a decision-making task that explicitly provides the rules for gains and losses and in which participants receive feedback after each trial. In addition, a modified version of this task was performed, in which the feedback after each trial and all associated feedback components were removed. Results indicate that participants had a lower performance in the modified Dice Task without feedback. They selected the disadvantageous alternatives more frequently when they did not receive feedback following their choices. Task performance in either version was correlated with executive functioning. Thus, in decisions under risk conditions, both executive functions as well as the use of feedback following previous trials are important components for optimal performance. Results have implications for the interpretation of deficient decision making in patients with neuropsychological impairments as both disturbances in categorization and other cognitive processes as well as emotional dysfunctions can compromise decision making in risky situations.