- Associative judgment and vector space semantics.
I study associative processing in high-level judgment using vector space semantic models. I find that semantic relatedness, as quantified by these models, is able to provide a good measure of the associations involved in judgment, and, in turn, predict responses in a large number of existing and novel judgment tasks. My results shed light on the representations underlying judgment, and highlight the close relationship between these representations and those at play in language and in the assessment of word meaning. In doing so, they show how one of the best-known and most studied theories in decision making research can be formalized to make quantitative a priori predictions, and how this theory can be rigorously tested on a wide range of natural language judgment problems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
- An interference model of visual working memory.
The article introduces an interference model of working memory for information in a continuous similarity space, such as the features of visual objects. The model incorporates the following assumptions: (a) Probability of retrieval is determined by the relative activation of each retrieval candidate at the time of retrieval; (b) activation comes from 3 sources in memory: cue-based retrieval using context cues, context-independent memory for relevant contents, and noise; (c) 1 memory object and its context can be held in the focus of attention, where it is represented with higher precision, and partly shielded against interference. The model was fit to data from 4 continuous-reproduction experiments testing working memory for colors or orientations. The experiments involved variations of set size, kind of context cues, precueing, and retro-cueing of the to-be-tested item. The interference model fit the data better than 2 competing models, the Slot-Averaging model and the Variable-Precision resource model. The interference model also fared well in comparison to several new models incorporating alternative theoretical assumptions. The experiments confirm 3 novel predictions of the interference model: (a) Nontargets intrude in recall to the extent that they are close to the target in context space; (b) similarity between target and nontarget features improves recall, and (c) precueing—but not retro-cueing—the target substantially reduces the set-size effect. The success of the interference model shows that working memory for continuous visual information works according to the same principles as working memory for more discrete (e.g., verbal) contents. Data and model codes are available at https://osf.io/wgqd5/. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
- Modeling visual problem solving as analogical reasoning.
We present a computational model of visual problem solving, designed to solve problems from the Raven’s Progressive Matrices intelligence test. The model builds on the claim that analogical reasoning lies at the heart of visual problem solving, and intelligence more broadly. Images are compared via structure mapping, aligning the common relational structure in 2 images to identify commonalities and differences. These commonalities or differences can themselves be reified and used as the input for future comparisons. When images fail to align, the model dynamically rerepresents them to facilitate the comparison. In our analysis, we find that the model matches adult human performance on the Standard Progressive Matrices test, and that problems which are difficult for the model are also difficult for people. Furthermore, we show that model operations involving abstraction and rerepresentation are particularly difficult for people, suggesting that these operations may be critical for performing visual problem solving, and reasoning more generally, at the highest level. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
- Self-evaluation of decision-making: A general Bayesian framework for metacognitive computation.
People are often aware of their mistakes, and report levels of confidence in their choices that correlate with objective performance. These metacognitive assessments of decision quality are important for the guidance of behavior, particularly when external feedback is absent or sporadic. However, a computational framework that accounts for both confidence and error detection is lacking. In addition, accounts of dissociations between performance and metacognition have often relied on ad hoc assumptions, precluding a unified account of intact and impaired self-evaluation. Here we present a general Bayesian framework in which self-evaluation is cast as a “second-order” inference on a coupled but distinct decision system, computationally equivalent to inferring the performance of another actor. Second-order computation may ensue whenever there is a separation between internal states supporting decisions and confidence estimates over space and/or time. We contrast second-order computation against simpler first-order models in which the same internal state supports both decisions and confidence estimates. Through simulations we show that second-order computation provides a unified account of different types of self-evaluation often considered in separate literatures, such as confidence and error detection, and generates novel predictions about the contribution of one’s own actions to metacognitive judgments. In addition, the model provides insight into why subjects’ metacognition may sometimes be better or worse than task performance. We suggest that second-order computation may underpin self-evaluative judgments across a range of domains. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)