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An LBA account of decisions in the multiple object tracking task

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Doi: 10.20982/tqmp.16.2.p175

Innes, Reilly J. , Kuhne, Caroline L.
Keywords: Linear Ballistic Accumulator
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Decision making is a vital aspect of our everyday functioning, from simple perceptual demands to more complex and meaningful decisions. The strategy adopted to make such decisions is often viewed as balancing elements of speed and caution, i.e. making fast or careful decisions. Using sequential sampling models to analyse decision making data can allow us to tease apart strategic differences, such as being more or less cautious, from processing differences, which would otherwise be indistinguishable in behavioural data. Our study used a multiple object tracking task where student participants and a highly skilled military group were compared on their ability to track several items at once. Using a mathematical model of decision making (the linear ballistic accumulator), we show the underpinnings of how two groups differ in performance. Results showed a large difference between the groups on accuracy, with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) group outperforming students. An interaction effect was observed between groups and level of difficulty in response times, where RAAF response times slowed at a greater rate than the student group as difficulty increased. Model results indicated that the RAAF personnel were more cautious in their decisions than students, and had faster processing in some conditions. Our study shows the strength of sequential sampling models, as well as providing a first attempt at fitting a sequential sampling model to data from a multiple object tracking task.

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