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Is social decision making for close others consistent across domains and within individuals?

  • Author(s): Guassi Moreira, João F
  • Tashjian, Sarah M
  • Galván, Adriana
  • Silvers, Jennifer A
  • et al.
Abstract

Humans make decisions across a variety of social contexts. Though social decision-making research has blossomed in recent decades, surprisingly little is known about whether social decision-making preferences are consistent across different domains. We conducted an exploratory study in which participants made choices about 2 types of close others: parents and friends. To elicit decision making preferences, we pit the interests in parents and friends against one another. To assess the consistency of preferences for close others, decision making was assessed in three domains-risk taking, probabilistic learning, and self-other similarity judgments. We reasoned that if social decision-making preferences are consistent across domains, participants ought to exhibit the same preference in all three domains (i.e., a parent preference, based on prior work), and individual differences in preference magnitude ought to be conserved across domains within individuals. A combination of computational modeling, random coefficient regression, and traditional statistical tests revealed a robust parent-over-friend preference in the risk taking and probabilistic learning domains but not the self-other similarity domain. Preferences for parent-over-friend in the risk-taking domain were strongly associated with similar preferences in the probabilistic learning domain but not the self-other similarity domain. These results suggest that distinct and dissociable value-based and social-cognitive computations underlie social decision making. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

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