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The Iowa Gambling Task
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Here's a thread for an experiment in decision-making, known as the "Iowa Gambling Task". Here's how it works:

  • The participant starts with a virtual $2,000, and four decks of cards. They pick cards one at a time.

  • Each time they pick a card, they either win some more virtual money, or lose some of what they have.

  • The participant continues picking cards, until they have picked 100 cards in total. The object, of course, is to try and make as much money as they can.

  • The decks are rigged so that some have better cards than others. However, the participant doesn't know which ones are better - and, usually, they don't know that the decks are rigged in the first place.

The task was first invented in 1994 - and, over the past 25 years, it's been used to study the process by which people make decisions. What researchers have found is that, after about 20 or 30 picks, the participants usually figure out which decks are better, and start picking mostly from those decks. However, MRI readings show that they begin to have hunches after only 10 picks - before they've consciously figured out which decks are better:



Study into this task continues today - and, a new mathematical model has been built, to predict the likely guesses of different participants in this task:

https://phys.org/news/2019-06-accurately...-task.html

It's fascinating, but also a little unsettling. Could these methods be used to predict my decisions on other matters :-/ ?
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