Abstract: Melioration — defined as choosing a lesser, local gain over a greater longer term gain — is a behavioral tendency that people and pigeons share. As such, the empirical occurrence of meliorating behavior has frequently been interpreted as evidence that the mechanisms of human choice violate the norms of economic rationality. In some environments, the relationship between actions and outcomes is known. In this case, the rationality of choice behavior can be evaluated in terms of how successfully it maximizes utility given knowledge of the environmental contingencies. In most complex environments, however, the relationship between actions and future outcomes is uncertain and must be learned from experience. When the difficulty of this learning challenge is taken into account, it is not evident that melioration represents suboptimal choice behavior.
|If an organism is confronted with the problem of behaving approximately rationally,
or adaptively, in a particular environment, the kinds of simplifications that are suitable
may depend not only on the characteristics—sensory, neural, and other—of the organism,
but equally on the nature of the environment.
|H.A. Simon (1956), Rational choice and the structure of the environment, p. 130|
[Copyright neth.de, 2008]:
Hans Neth, Sunny Khemlani, Wayne Gray (2008)
Feedback design for the control of a dynamic multitasking system: Dissociating outcome feedback from control feedback. Human Factors Journal, 2008.
Objective: We distinguish outcome feedback from control feedback to show that suboptimal performance in a dynamic multitasking system may be caused by limits inherent to the information provided rather than human resource limits.