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Explicit representation of confidence informs future value-based decisions

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Tomas Folke, Catrine Jacobsen, Stephen M. Fleming, Benedetto De Martino

Humans can reflect on decisions and report variable levels of confidence. But why maintain an explicit representation of confidence for choices that have already been made and therefore cannot be undone? Here we show that an explicit representation of confidence is harnessed for subsequent changes of mind. Specifically, when confidence is low, participants are more likely to change their minds when the same choice is presented again, an effect that is most pronounced in participants with greater fidelity in their confidence reports. Furthermore, we show that choices reported with high confidence follow a more consistent pattern (fewer transitivity violations). Finally, by tracking participants’ eye movements, we demonstrate that lower-level gaze dynamics can track uncertainty but do not directly impact changes of mind. These results suggest that an explicit and accurate representation of confidence has a positive impact on the quality of future value-based decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0002
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2016

ID: 172480278