On the difficulty of overcoming one’s accuracy bias for choosing an optimal speed-accuracy tradeoff

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Journal of Experimental Psychology : Human Perception and Performance. American Psychological Association (APA). 2021, 47(12), pp. 1604-1620. ISSN 0096-1523. eISSN 1939-1277. Available under: doi: 10.1037/xhp0000957
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Under time pressure, it is usually not possible to respond quickly and accurately at the same time. Therefore, people must trade speed for accuracy, depending on the current payoff conditions. Ideally, they should choose a speed–accuracy tradeoff (SAT) that optimizes their monetary reward. However, this is hardly the case. Rather, persons exhibit an accuracy bias, which is often disadvantageous. To further investigate the role of errors for optimizing reward, we conducted a flanker-task study with different payoff and framing conditions. Whereas the reward for correct responses always increased continuously with speed, the costs of errors varied. In three of four conditions, responding very fast, even with low accuracy, was favorable. Furthermore, in addition to the usual gain framing, half of our participants were instructed according to a loss frame. Whereas framing had little effect on performance, we found a substantial accuracy bias. Only in the most extreme condition some participants overcame their bias and responded very quickly. To examine how SAT strategies differed between participants, we modeled the performance with a sequential-sampling model. The results suggest that various mechanisms were involved in realizing specific SATs. However, they were hardly applied to optimize reward. Rather, participants seem to have optimized their well-being.

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ISO 690HÜBNER, Ronald, Michel D. DRUEY, Thomas PELZER, Annabelle WALLE, 2021. On the difficulty of overcoming one’s accuracy bias for choosing an optimal speed-accuracy tradeoff. In: Journal of Experimental Psychology : Human Perception and Performance. American Psychological Association (APA). 2021, 47(12), pp. 1604-1620. ISSN 0096-1523. eISSN 1939-1277. Available under: doi: 10.1037/xhp0000957
BibTex
@article{Hubner2021-12diffi-55317,
  year={2021},
  doi={10.1037/xhp0000957},
  title={On the difficulty of overcoming one’s accuracy bias for choosing an optimal speed-accuracy tradeoff},
  number={12},
  volume={47},
  issn={0096-1523},
  journal={Journal of Experimental Psychology : Human Perception and Performance},
  pages={1604--1620},
  author={Hübner, Ronald and Druey, Michel D. and Pelzer, Thomas and Walle, Annabelle}
}
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