The Effect of Complexity on Training for Exploration of Non-intuitive Rules in Theory of Mind

Abstract

The current research focused on training to enhance exploration in Theory of Mind (ToM), using a training program based on the game SET®. (© 1988, 1991 Cannei, LLC. All rights reserved. SET® and all associated logos and taglines are registered trademarks of Cannei, LLC. Used with permission from Set Enterprises, Inc.) Two experimental groups were tasked with predicting the selections of a virtual player given a set of unknown rules governing the assignment of values to SETs, where one aspect of the rules (the fact that some values were negative) was designed to be particularly unintuitive. In the Simple Rule group, there were only four sets of values and their assignment followed a pattern, whereas in the Complex Rule group, there were many sets of values and their assignment was arbitrary, requiring greater exploration to determine them. The Simple Rule group was better at predicting more-intuitive selections of the virtual player, while the Complex Rule group was both better and faster at predicting less-intuitive selections. Hence, exposing trainees to complex rules governing others’ decisions might be used to change people’s tendency toward under-exploration in ToM.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported in part by the ORT Braude College, Israel.

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Correspondence to Nirit Yuviler-Gavish.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. The research involved human participants and was approved by the ORT Braude College’s ethical committee. Participants have signed on informed consent.

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 5 and Table 6 show the two SET options and the virtual player’s selections for the Simple and Complex Rule conditions, respectively.

Table 5 Options and selections of the virtual player for the Simple Rule group (the abbreviations are defined in the “Design” section)
Table 6 Options and selections of the virtual player for the Complex Rule group (the abbreviations are defined in the “Design” section)

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Yuviler-Gavish, N., Faran, D. & Berman, M. The Effect of Complexity on Training for Exploration of Non-intuitive Rules in Theory of Mind. J Cogn Enhanc 4, 323–332 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41465-019-00158-z

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Keywords

  • Decision-making
  • Learning
  • Games
  • Cognitive structure
  • Knowledge