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The Falsifiability of Actual Decision-Making Models


Heathcote, A and Wagenmakers, E-J and Brown, SD, The Falsifiability of Actual Decision-Making Models, Psychological Review, 121, (4) pp. 676-678. ISSN 0033-295X (2014) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

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DOI: doi:10.1037/a0037771


Jones and Dzhafarov (2014) provided a useful service in pointing out that some assumptions of modern decision-making models require additional scrutiny. Their main result, however, is not surprising: If an infinitely complex model was created by assigning its parameters arbitrarily flexible distributions, this new model would be able to fit any observed data perfectly. Such a hypothetical model would be unfalsifiable. This is exactly why such models have never been proposed in over half a century of model development in decision making. Additionally, the main conclusion drawn from this result—that the success of existing decision-making models can be attributed to assumptions about parameter distributions— is wrong.

Item Details

Item Type:Contribution to Refereed Journal
Keywords:choice reaction time, diffusion model, linear ballistic accumulator, model falsifiability
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Decision making
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Heathcote, A (Professor Andrew Heathcote)
ID Code:98930
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2015-03-10
Last Modified:2015-05-11

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