Project Meiser

Contingency Learning and Choice Behaviour in the Case of Context-Dependent Outcome Structures

This project investigates the use of sample information and inferred contingencies as a basis
of decision behaviour in situations in which (a) information about the choice alternatives
and (b) the actual outcomes depend on some context variable. In particular, the planned
experiments analyze effects of pseudo-contingencies and cue competition on decision
making in complex scenarios. Pseudo-contingencies reflect the overestimation of existing
correlations, or the perception of non-existent correlations between two variables on the
basis of sample information that is not sufficient for true correlation assessment, like pairwise
correlations of both variables with a context factor. Cue competition, in contrast, denotes
the impaired extraction of an existing relation between two variables in a sample due to the
competing relation with a context variable. Using different decision scenarios, the research
programme aims at pseudo-contingencies, cue competition and at moderating factors of both
effects with respect to contingency learning between choice alternatives and outcomes and
with respect to the resulting choice behaviour. The project thereby combines recent research
in the domain of decision making with findings and methods from the domain of contingency
learning, and it strives to make novel contributions to both research areas.



Prof. Dr. Thorsten Meiser

Psychology II, Department of Psychology, University of Mannheim

Tel: +49 (0) 621 181 2138

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Dr. Jan Rummel

Department of Psychology, University of Heidelberg

Tel: +49 (0) 622 154 7125

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Dipl.-Psych. Hanna Fleig

Psychology II, Department of Psychology, University of Mannheim

Tel: +49 (0) 621-181-2129

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Research groupPublicationsActivitiesSummer School 2015Small Group Meeting 2017