Optimal inference with suboptimal models:Addiction and active Bayesian inference

Schwartenbeck, Philipp, FitzGerald, Thomas H B ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3855-1591, Mathys, Christoph, Dolan, Ray, Wurst, Friedrich, Kronbichler, Martin and Friston, Karl (2015) Optimal inference with suboptimal models:Addiction and active Bayesian inference. Medical Hypotheses, 84 (2). pp. 109-117. ISSN 0306-9877

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When casting behaviour as active (Bayesian) inference, optimal inference is defined with respect to an agent's beliefs - based on its generative model of the world. This contrasts with normative accounts of choice behaviour, in which optimal actions are considered in relation to the true structure of the environment - as opposed to the agent's beliefs about worldly states (or the task). This distinction shifts an understanding of suboptimal or pathological behaviour away from aberrant inference as such, to understanding the prior beliefs of a subject that cause them to behave less 'optimally' than our prior beliefs suggest they should behave. Put simply, suboptimal or pathological behaviour does not speak against understanding behaviour in terms of (Bayes optimal) inference, but rather calls for a more refined understanding of the subject's generative model upon which their (optimal) Bayesian inference is based. Here, we discuss this fundamental distinction and its implications for understanding optimality, bounded rationality and pathological (choice) behaviour. We illustrate our argument using addictive choice behaviour in a recently described 'limited offer' task. Our simulations of pathological choices and addictive behaviour also generate some clear hypotheses, which we hope to pursue in ongoing empirical work.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license
Uncontrolled Keywords: bayes theorem,addictive behavior,choice behavior,cognition,computer simulation,decision making,humans,psychological models
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2016 12:01
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 07:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/58292
DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2014.12.007


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