Author(s): Yechiam E, Busemeyer JR, Stout JC, Bechara A
Findings from a complex decision-making task (the Iowa gambling task) show that individuals with neuropsychological disorders are characterized by decision-making deficits that lead to maladaptive risk-taking behavior. This article describes a cognitive model that distills performance in this task into three different underlying psychological components: the relative impact of rewards and punishments on evaluations of options, the rate that the contingent payoffs are learned, and the consistency between learning and responding. Findings from 10 studies are organized by distilling the observed decision deficits into the three basic components and locating the neuropsychological disorders in this component space. The results reveal a cluster of populations characterized by making risky choices despite high attention to losses, perhaps because of difficulties in creating emotive representations. These findings demonstrate the potential contribution of cognitive models in building bridges between neuroscience and behavior.