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Rational Adaptation Under Task and Processing Constraints: Implications for Testing Theories of Cognition and Action  (2009)
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The authors assume that individuals adapt rationally to a utility function given constraints imposed by their cognitive architecture and the local task environment. This assumption underlies a new approach to modeling and understanding cognition—cognitively bounded rational analysis—that sharpens the predictive acuity of general, integrated theories of cognition and action. Such theories provide the necessary computational means to explain the flexible nature of human behavior but in doing so introduce extreme degrees of freedom in accounting for data. The new approach narrows the space of predicted behaviors through analysis of the payoff achieved by alternative strategies, rather than through fitting strategies and theoretical parameters to data. It extends and complements established approaches, including computational cognitive architectures, rational analysis, optimal motor control, bounded rationality, and signal detection theory. The authors illustrate the approach with a reanalysis of an existing account of psychological refractory period (PRP) dual-task performance and the development and analysis of a new theory of ordered dual-task responses. These analyses yield several novel results, including a new understanding of the role of strategic variation in existing accounts of PRP and the first predictive, quantitative account showing how the details of ordered dual-task phenomena emerge from the rational control of a cognitive system subject to the combined constraints of internal variance, motor interference, and a response selection bottleneck.
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Action, Adaptation, analysis, bounded, Cognition, cognitively, Constraints, Implications, Processing, Rational, Task, Testing, Theories, Under
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Psychological Review, Vol. 116, No. 4, 717–751
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Curator: Phil So
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Last Updated: August 15, 2019