Forward inference in risky choice: Mapping gaze and decision processes

Schoemann, Martin; Schulte-Mecklenbeck, Michael; Renkewitz, Frank; Scherbaum, Stefan (2019). Forward inference in risky choice: Mapping gaze and decision processes. Journal of behavioral decision making, 32(5), pp. 521-535. Wiley 10.1002/bdm.2129

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The study of cognitive processes is built on a close mapping between three components: overt gaze behavior, overt choice, and covert processes. To validate this overt–covert mapping in the domain of decision‐making, we collected eye‐movement data during decisions between risky gamble problems. Applying a forward inference paradigm, participants were instructed to use specific decision strategies to solve those gamble problems (maximizing expected values or applying different choice heuristics) during which gaze behavior was recorded. We revealed differences between overt behavior, as indicated by eye movements, and covert decision processes, instructed by the experimenter. However, our results show that the overt–covert mapping is for some eye‐movement measures not as close as expected by current decision theory, and hence question reverse inference as being prone to fallacies due to a violation of its prerequisite, that is, a close overt–covert mapping. We propose a framework to rehabilitate reverse inference.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Other Institutions > Office of the Dean, Faculty of Human Sciences
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Innovation Management > Consumer Behavior

UniBE Contributor:

Schulte-Mecklenbeck, Michael


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations








Patrick Roger Flury

Date Deposited:

14 Jul 2020 10:53

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:39

Publisher DOI:



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