Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Decision Making, Perceptual
One can define perceptual decision making (PDM) as a categorical choice based on sensory information. For example, did you just hear an airplane flying by or was it a helicopter? PDM can be contrasted with economic, emotional, reward-based, or value-based decision making, in which the decision is driven by the desirability of an option. For example, you see two identical-looking boxes in front of you. From past experience, you know that you are less likely to find candy when opening the right box. You therefore choose the left box. Because perceptual decisions can only be studied when the choice is reported by the subject, studies of PDM usually also involve a verbal report or triggering an action (pushing a button, for example). Perceptual decisions can be classified based on their complexity. The simplest type of perceptual decision is deciding whether a stimulus has been present or not (stimulus detection). “Did ...