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Thread: Study on the effect of multiple choices on decision making

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    Default Study on the effect of multiple choices on decision making

    I've heard of and read about a study done to determine the effects of multiple choices on decision making. The basic premise is that participants were offered a number of choices, all of which were equally correct and told to choose one. When presented with more options, the time required to make a decision increased. While I've heard and read about this study multple times, I can't seem to find any specifics about the study itself. I've seen it mentioned several times, and have a feeling that I have a more specific reference to it in one of the books on my bookshelf, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Does anyone here know the study to which I am referring and if so do you have any information where I could find out more about it? If so, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.


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    Sapper6 is offline
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    Default Re: Study on the effect of multiple choices on decision making

    I think what you are referring to is known as Hick's Law. (more choices increases reaction time).

    Links below:

    http://www.hockscqc.com/articles/hickslaw.htm

    http://www.policelink.com/training/a...5544-hicks-law

    Did you have any specific questions regarding Hick's Law?

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    Sapper6 is offline
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    Default Re: Study on the effect of multiple choices on decision making

    Also found these as well:

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Hicks-Law-...ight&id=747942

    http://www.helium.com/tm/671225/demo...ed-based-world

    http://www.elite-fighters.com/librar...ygroupings.htm

    In the spirit of Hick's Law, now that I've given you more links to read, it will take you longer to process the information.

    Cheers!

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    John M. La Tourrette (11-14-2007)

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    Default Re: Study on the effect of multiple choices on decision making

    Not sure about literature related to it...but sounds like a really good topic.

    If one is faced with an attack, and there is more than on acceptable response to it, I could see how it could delay reaction time. Even if ones reactions are imbedded in the subconcious and considered to be at the "spontaneous" stage."

    How does one address overcoming this problem in their training?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Wanderer is offline
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    Default Re: Study on the effect of multiple choices on decision making

    Consciously it takes longer to perceive each choice and weigh its pros and cons.
    Unconsciously, you already know your choices and their pros and cons.

    Ever do something by reflex? There were probably dozens of options if you took the time to think about it.

    It seems to me that Hick's Law would only be an issue with conscious decision making.

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    flying crane (11-13-2007),John M. La Tourrette (11-14-2007)

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    Default Re: Study on the effect of multiple choices on decision making

    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Consciously it takes longer to perceive each choice and weigh its pros and cons.
    Unconsciously, you already know your choices and their pros and cons.

    Ever do something by reflex? There were probably dozens of options if you took the time to think about it.

    It seems to me that Hick's Law would only be an issue with conscious decision making.
    I think this is a very good point.

    This is only an issue if you are literally trying to choose one formal technique over the others as the optimal response. But in reality you should never do that. You just respond with whatever happens. You aren't trying to do a complete or formal technique.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Study on the effect of multiple choices on decision making

    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    It seems to me that Hick's Law would only be an issue with conscious decision making.
    I do thank sapper for the info. And I did put that material in Cognitive Restructuring Techniques for Martial Arts Athletes (1985-1987).

    And wanderer is totally correct in his statement about conscious decision making and unconscious reactive training.

    One of the concepts that trainings "should take into account" is the philosophy behind what they are training in.

    For example, MOST kenpo karate is taught as "reactive".

    So a "reactive martial artist" does his waza depending on what is done to him first.

    Very slow reaction times.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Dionysianexile is offline
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    Default Re: Study on the effect of multiple choices on decision making

    Something that must be taken into account is that the task presented in many of the studies of choice and reaction time is a novel one to those being studied. There is a large difference between novice and experts when it comes to decision making.

    One thing that happens as one becomes closer to an expert in any given field is that information becomes "chunked." The general rule is that on average a human can work with 7 +/-2 chunks of information at any given time, so the bigger the chunks of information, the more you can hold, the caveat being, you have to be closer to expert to create larger chunks of information.

    In application to kenpo, the beginner white belt has trouble holding all 10 yellow belt techniques and working through them. As they are repeated more and more, techniques will become chunked more and more. As you progress, all 10 techniques may become chunked as "yellow belt techniques". This could go on through many belts. Later, as the more advanced student begins to recategorize the techniques, they may become chunked by different categories, such as the attack they are a response to, or various other family groupings.

    The more an expert person can chunk a given subject, the more they can hold in working memory, and the faster they are able to respond, as responding to the task at hand is no longer novel, nor does it require retrieving information from slower forms of memory.

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    Juggernaut is offline
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    Default Re: Study on the effect of multiple choices on decision making

    I personally prefer to be active rather than reactive as much as possible. If I assess a potentially hostile situation and deem it necessary to attack... I will do so first.

    Bruce Lee believed in a concept called "Fistic Law" or one answer to many questions. For example... Think of all the instances you could just punch someone in response to a self defense situation.... there are numerous.

    Bottom line is if we break down every martial art in the world to bare bones... what is left is tools and targets. What tool we use for a given target is guided by tactical availability and principles.

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