AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fifth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Contextually-Based Utility: An Appraisal-Based Approach at Modeling Framing and Decisions
Jonathan Yasuo Ito, Stacy Marsella

Last modified: 2011-08-04


Creating accurate computational models of human decision making is a vital step towards the realization of socially intelligent systems capable of both predicting and simulating human behavior. In modeling human decision making, a key factor is the psychological phenomenon known as "framing", in which the preferences of a decision maker change in response to contextual changes in decision problems. Existing approaches treat framing as a one-dimensional contextual influence based on the perception of outcomes as either gains or losses. However, empirical studies have shown that framing effects are much more multifaceted than one-dimensional views of framing suggest. To address this limitation, we propose an integrative approach to modeling framing which combines the psychological principles of cognitive appraisal theories and decision-theoretic notions of utility and probability. We show that this approach allows for both the identification and computation of the salient contextual factors in a decision as well as modeling how they ultimately affect the decision process. Furthermore, we show that our multi-dimensional, appraisal-based approach can account for framing effects identified in the empirical literature which cannot be addressed by one-dimensional theories, thereby promising more accurate models of human behavior.

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