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Estimating a Path through a Map of Decision Making

Brock, W.A.; Bentley, R.A.; O'Brien, M.J.; Caiado, C.C.S.

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W.A. Brock

R.A. Bentley

M.J. O'Brien


Studies of the evolution of collective behavior consider the payoffs of individual versus social learning. We have previously proposed that the relative magnitude of social versus individual learning could be compared against the transparency of payoff, also known as the “transparency” of the decision, through a heuristic, two-dimensional map. Moving from west to east, the estimated strength of social influence increases. As the decision maker proceeds from south to north, transparency of choice increases, and it becomes easier to identify the best choice itself and/or the best social role model from whom to learn (depending on position on east–west axis). Here we show how to parameterize the functions that underlie the map, how to estimate these functions, and thus how to describe estimated paths through the map. We develop estimation methods on artificial data sets and discuss real-world applications such as modeling changes in health decisions.


Brock, W., Bentley, R., O'Brien, M., & Caiado, C. (2014). Estimating a Path through a Map of Decision Making. PLoS ONE, 9(11), Article e111022.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Nov 4, 2014
Publication Date Nov 1, 2014
Deposit Date Sep 29, 2015
Publicly Available Date Oct 9, 2015
Journal PLoS ONE
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 11
Article Number e111022


Published Journal Article (612 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
Copyright: © 2014 Brock et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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