Magnitude-sensitivity: rethinking decision-making

The cover of the January issue of the magazine Trends in Cognitive Sciences shows a human brain composed of a honeybee swarm. The artwork depicts two seemingly distant biological systems that present striking similarities in decision dynamics and properties of information processing. Inspired by the study of house-hunting honeybees, recent research has established that performance in decision-making is affected in predictable ways by the overall goal-relevant magnitude of the alternatives. Magnitude-sensitivity has been observed in humans performing a wide variety of tasks and in organisms as diverse as non-human primates and aneural slime molds. Angelo Pirrone and colleagues review the literature and highlight how prominent accounts of theoretical, descriptive, and normative decision-making had to be revisited to explain magnitude-sensitivity.
A. Pirrone, A. Reina, T. Stafford, J.A.R. Marshall, F. Gobet. Magnitude-sensitivity: rethinking decision-making. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 26(1), 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2021.10.006

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