The Relationship between Adaptive Strategy Selection and Cognitive Effort: An Eye-tracking Study


  • Dominik Lenda SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty of Psychology in Wroclaw, Center for Research on Improving Decision Making (CRIDM)
  • Jakub Traczyk SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty of Psychology in Wroclaw, Center for Research on Improving Decision Making (CRIDM)


Słowa kluczowe:

adaptive strategy selection, risky choice, eye-tracking, pupil size, cognitive effort


We investigated whether people make choices and regulate cognitive effort adaptively depending on the task structure. We employed an eye-tracking methodology to examine whether measures of cognitive effort (i.e., reaction times and pupil size) predict choices in high and low expected values ratio choice problems. We measured how frequently participants made choices consistent with predictions of cumulative prospect theory vs. priority heuristic models. Participants were more likely to make choices predicted by cumulative prospect theory in choice problems with high expected value ratio, while in choices of low expected value ratio problems, they tended to select an alternative predicted by priority heuristic. Choice latency but not pupil size was directly related to choices contingent upon cumulative prospect theory. Notably, we observed that the likelihood of choices consistent with priority heuristic decreased with pupil size, but only in case of choice problems with low expected value ratio.


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