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Choosing Among Causal Agents in a Dynamic Environment
Final rept. 1 May 2007-30 Apr 2009
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIV AT CARBONDALE
Pagination or Media Count:
Participants in a video game environment were required to make a series of decisions in which they must identify which of three targets was causing a distal explosion. The potential targets were firing weapons which could produce an explosion after a constant or variable delay, a delay that was filled or unfilled with an auditory event, and may have produced explosions probabilistically. Delays had profound effects on accuracy and decision latencies, decreasing weapon effectiveness from 100 to 50 had little effect on accuracy and modest effects on latencies men only, filling a delay helped under very limited conditions, and varying the delay actually improved performance for longer average delays. Furthermore, mens decision accuracy was higher but not when prior video game experience was controlled for. In contrast, women observed their targets for much longer before making a choice regardless of prior experience. The results disconfirmed the proposed forward inference model and instead supported the operation of a backward inference model of causal choice.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE