Psychology Colloquium: Dr Ashley Luckman: Investigating reason-based decision-making in the attraction effect and its dimensional extensions
Dr Ashley Luckman (University of Exeter)
Reason-based accounts of decision-making, such as Query Theory, have been successfully applied to a range of binary preferential choice phenomena, such as default, framing and immediacy effects. In a series of Experiments we explore the role reasons play in multi-alternative choice, particularly the attraction effect. In Experiment 1 we find reasons supporting the target option were generated earlier and in greater quantity than those supporting the competitor, as predicted by Query Theory. This replicates in Experiment 2, when we extend the attraction effect to more complicated stimuli with more attributes. In Experiment 3, we investigated the causal relationship between reasoning and choices by exogenously manipulating the order in which participants generated their reasons. As predicted, the size of the attraction effect was a function of this query order manipulation. Finally we explore the structure of the reasons people generate, and how they relate to attentional processes measured through mouse-tracking/lab methods.