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Healthful choices depend on the latency and rate of information accumulation

Sullivan, Nicolette J. ORCID: 0000-0003-0313-3856 and Huettel, Scott A. (2021) Healthful choices depend on the latency and rate of information accumulation. Nature Human Behaviour, 5 (12). 1698 - 1706. ISSN 2397-3374

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s41562-021-01154-0


The drift diffusion model provides a parsimonious explanation of decisions across neurobiological, psychological and behavioural levels of analysis. Although most drift diffusion model implementations assume that only a single value guides decisions, choices often involve multiple attributes that could make separable contributions to choice. Here we fit incentive-compatible dietary choices to a multi-attribute, time-dependent drift diffusion model, in which taste and health could differentially influence the evidence accumulation process. We find that these attributes shaped both the relative value signal and the latency of evidence accumulation in a manner consistent with participants’ idiosyncratic preferences. Moreover, by using a dietary prime, we showed how a healthy choice intervention alters multi-attribute, time-dependent drift diffusion model parameters that in turn predict prime-dependent choices. Our results reveal that different decision attributes make separable contributions to the strength and timing of evidence accumulation, providing new insights into the construction of interventions to alter the processes of choice.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors, under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited
Divisions: Management
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2021 14:24
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2024 04:48

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