skip to main content


Title: Intrachoice Dynamics Shape Social Decisions
Do people have well-defined social preferences waiting to be applied when making decisions? Or do they have to construct social decisions on the spot? If the latter, how are those decisions influenced by the way in which information is acquired and evaluated? These temporal dynamics are fundamental to understanding how people trade off selfishness and prosociality in organizations and societies. Here, we investigate how the temporal dynamics of the choice process shape social decisions in three studies using response times and mouse tracking. In the first study, participants made binary decisions in mini-dictator games with and without time constraints. Using mouse trajectories and a starting time drift diffusion model, we find that, regardless of time constraints, selfish participants were delayed in processing others’ payoffs, whereas the opposite was true for prosocial participants. The independent mouse trajectory and computational modeling analyses identified consistent measures of the delay between considering one’s own and others’ payoffs (self-onset delay, SOD). This measure correlated with individual differences in prosociality and predicted heterogeneous effects of time constraints on preferences. We confirmed these results in two additional studies, one a purely behavioral study in which participants made decisions by pressing computer keys, and the other a replication of the mouse-tracking study. Together, these results indicate that people preferentially process either self or others’ payoffs early in the choice process. The intrachoice dynamics are crucial in shaping social preferences and might be manipulated via nudge policies (e.g., manipulating the display order or saliency of self and others’ outcomes) for behavior in managerial or other contexts. This paper was accepted by Yan Chen, behavioral economics and decisions analysis. Funding: F. Chen acknowledges support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grants 71803174 and 72173113]. Z. Zhu acknowledges support from the Ministry of Science and Technology [Grant STI 2030-Major Projects 2021ZD0200409]. Q. Shen acknowledges support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grants 71971199 and 71942004]. I. Krajbich acknowledges support from the U.S. National Science Foundation [Grant 2148982]. This work was also supported by the James McKeen Cattell Fund. Supplemental Material: The online appendix and data are available at https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2023.4732 .  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2148982
NSF-PAR ID:
10435689
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Editor(s):
Chen, Yan
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Management Science
ISSN:
0025-1909
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract STUDY QUESTION

    Is the combined use of fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM)-based metabolic imaging and second harmonic generation (SHG) spindle imaging a feasible and safe approach for noninvasive embryo assessment?

    SUMMARY ANSWER

    Metabolic imaging can sensitively detect meaningful metabolic changes in embryos, SHG produces high-quality images of spindles and the methods do not significantly impair embryo viability.

    WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY

    Proper metabolism is essential for embryo viability. Metabolic imaging is a well-tested method for measuring metabolism of cells and tissues, but it is unclear if it is sensitive enough and safe enough for use in embryo assessment.

    STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION

    This study consisted of time-course experiments and control versus treatment experiments. We monitored the metabolism of 25 mouse oocytes with a noninvasive metabolic imaging system while exposing them to oxamate (cytoplasmic lactate dehydrogenase inhibitor) and rotenone (mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation inhibitor) in series. Mouse embryos (n = 39) were measured every 2 h from the one-cell stage to blastocyst in order to characterize metabolic changes occurring during pre-implantation development. To assess the safety of FLIM illumination, n = 144 illuminated embryos were implanted into n = 12 mice, and n = 108 nonilluminated embryos were implanted into n = 9 mice.

    PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS

    Experiments were performed in mouse embryos and oocytes. Samples were monitored with noninvasive, FLIM-based metabolic imaging of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) autofluorescence. Between NADH cytoplasm, NADH mitochondria and FAD mitochondria, a single metabolic measurement produces up to 12 quantitative parameters for characterizing the metabolic state of an embryo. For safety experiments, live birth rates and pup weights (mean ± SEM) were used as endpoints. For all test conditions, the level of significance was set at P < 0.05.

    MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE

    Measured FLIM parameters were highly sensitive to metabolic changes due to both metabolic perturbations and embryo development. For oocytes, metabolic parameter values were compared before and after exposure to oxamate and rotenone. The metabolic measurements provided a basis for complete separation of the data sets. For embryos, metabolic parameter values were compared between the first division and morula stages, morula and blastocyst and first division and blastocyst. The metabolic measurements again completely separated the data sets. Exposure of embryos to excessive illumination dosages (24 measurements) had no significant effect on live birth rate (5.1 ± 0.94 pups/mouse for illuminated group; 5.7 ± 1.74 pups/mouse for control group) or pup weights (1.88 ± 0.10 g for illuminated group; 1.89 ± 0.11 g for control group).

    LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION

    The study was performed using a mouse model, so conclusions concerning sensitivity and safety may not generalize to human embryos. A limitation of the live birth data is also that although cages were routinely monitored, we could not preclude that some runt pups may have been eaten.

    WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS

    Promising proof-of-concept results demonstrate that FLIM with SHG provide detailed biological information that may be valuable for the assessment of embryo and oocyte quality. Live birth experiments support the method’s safety, arguing for further studies of the clinical utility of these techniques.

    STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S)

    Supported by the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator Grant at Harvard University and by the Harvard Catalyst/The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (National Institutes of Health Award UL1 TR001102), by NSF grants DMR-0820484 and PFI-TT-1827309 and by NIH grant R01HD092550-01. T.S. was supported by a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology grant (1308878). S.F. and S.A. were supported by NSF MRSEC DMR-1420382. Becker and Hickl GmbH sponsored the research with the loaning of equipment for FLIM. T.S. and D.N. are cofounders and shareholders of LuminOva, Inc., and co-hold patents (US20150346100A1 and US20170039415A1) for metabolic imaging methods. D.S. is on the scientific advisory board for Cooper Surgical and has stock options with LuminOva, Inc.

     
    more » « less
  2. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program is specifically designed to support workforce development that primarily takes place in technician education programs offered at two-year colleges across the nation. Even so, NSF grant funding is infrequently or never pursued by most two-year colleges even though there is a need for funding to support high-cost, high-impact STEM programs. Since two-year colleges are focused on teaching vs. research, securing grants is seldom, if ever, required or even recognized as important as part of tenure and promotion processes at these institutions. As a result, technical/STEM faculty members typically do not have prior grant experience, nor do they have experience in managing a grant-funded project using industry-standard techniques. Guiding new grantees in applying Project Management skills as they implement NSF ATE-funded grants for the first time holds promise for improving project outcomes, reducing the frustration of a steep learning curve for new PIs, and encouraging follow-on grant proposals to the ATE Program. The first two principles of project management, (1) set clear objectives from the start and (2) create a project plan, are required to receive a first grant from NSF. When a grant award is received, two-year college faculty are invariably faced with working grant-funded activities into their already heavily-scheduled work weeks. Knowing about and employing project management skills can make a positive difference in the experience one has as a PI responsible for grant implementation and outcomes. These skills can help prevent chaos as workloads and competing demands for their time increase. To help new PIs learn and use project management skills within the context of NSF expectations so that they may maximize project outcomes and position themselves for subsequent NSF funding. A new professional development opportunity, PI 101, is providing instruction, mentoring, and technical assistance during the first year of project implementation. Based on PI 101 pilot year experiences and research, this support is being strengthened to specifically include the other three principles of project management: (1) organize and manage resources, (2) assess risks and changes throughout the project, and (3) monitor progress and performance on a regular basis. Mentor-Connect Forward, funded by the NSF ATE Program, added a newly developed component that addresses the critical need for first-time grantees to have instruction and support during their first year of project implementation. This professional development opportunity, called PI 101, is being offered to first-time, two-year college PIs to develop skills and help them build confidence by learning to apply proven strategies that can improve project outcomes so that their initial NSF ATE-funded work will build a worthy foundation for future grant awards and associated program improvements and innovation in technician education. PI 101 provides a collegial cohort environment for new PIs as they address issues such as grants management, budgets, and reporting expectations. New PIs can also get answers and receive direction on communication, building internal and external relationships, and developing industry partnerships. An important component of PI 101 is the introduction of the principles of project management as they apply to grant management. The pilot cohort of PI 101 participants received NSF ATE awards in 2023. The impact on the people involved, project progress, and outcomes are being monitored to inform improvements to PI 101 and future research questions. This paper explores the challenges and lessons learned in assisting a cohort of 15 two-year colleges so that they may effectively incorporate principles of project management and other grantsmanship strategies as they implement their first NSF ATE projects. 
    more » « less
  3. We use high-resolution mobile phone data with geolocation information and propose a novel technical framework to study how social influence propagates within a phone communication network and affects the offline decision to attend a performance event. Our fine-grained data are based on the universe of phone calls made in a European country between January and July 2016. We isolate social influence from observed and latent homophily by taking advantage of the rich spatial-temporal information and the social interactions available from the longitudinal behavioral data. We find that influence stemming from phone communication is significant and persists up to four degrees of separation in the communication network. Building on this finding, we introduce a new “influence” centrality measure that captures the empirical pattern of influence decay over successive connections. A validation test shows that the average influence centrality of the adopters at the beginning of each observational period can strongly predict the number of eventual adopters and has a stronger predictive power than other prevailing centrality measures such as the eigenvector centrality and state-of-the-art measures such as diffusion centrality. Our centrality measure can be used to improve optimal seeding strategies in contexts with influence over phone calls, such as targeted or viral marketing campaigns. Finally, we quantitatively demonstrate how raising the communication probability over each connection, as well as the number of initial seeds, can significantly amplify the expected adoption in the network and raise net revenue after taking into account the cost of these interventions. History: Sam Ransbotham, Senior Editor; Yan Huang, Associate Editor. Funding: Y. Leng acknowledges the support provided by the National Science Foundation [Grant IIS-2153468]. E. Moro acknowledges the support provided by the National Science Foundation [Grant 2218748]. Supplemental Material: The online appendices are available at https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.2023.1231 . 
    more » « less
  4. Fernandes, Thiago P. (Ed.)
    Individuals typically prefer the freedom to make their own decisions. Yet, people often trade their own decision control (procedural utility) to gain economic security (outcome utility). Decision science has not reconciled these observations. We examined how decision-makers’ efficacy and security perceptions influence when, why, and how individuals exchange procedural and outcome utility. Undergraduate adults ( N = 77; M age = 19.45 years; 73% female; 62% Caucasian, 13% African American) were recruited from the psychology participant pool at a midwestern U.S. metropolitan university. Participants made financial decisions in easy and hard versions of a paid card task resembling a standard gambling task, with a learning component. During half the trials, they made decisions with a No-Choice Manager who controlled their decisions, versus a Choice Manager who granted decision control. The hard task was designed to be too difficult for most participants, undermining their efficacy and security, and ensuring financial losses. The No-Choice Manager was designed to perform moderately well, ensuring financial gains. Participants felt greater outcome satisfaction (utility) for financial gains earned via Choice, but not losses. Participants (85%) preferred the Choice manager in the easy task but preferred the No-Choice Manager (56%) in the hard task. This change in preference for choice corresponded with self-efficacy and was mediated by perceived security. We used Decision Field Theory to develop potential cognitive models of these decisions. Preferences were best described by a model that assumed decision-makers initially prefer Choice, but update their preference based on loss-dependent attentional focus. When they earned losses (hard task), decision-makers focused more on economic payoffs (financial security), causing them to deemphasize procedural utility. Losses competed for attention, pulling attention toward economic survivability and away from the inherent value of choice. Decision-makers are more likely to sacrifice freedom of choice to leaders they perceive as efficacious to alleviate perceived threats to economic security. 
    more » « less
  5. Curb space is one of the busiest areas in urban road networks. Especially in recent years, the rapid increase of ride-hailing trips and commercial deliveries has induced massive pick-ups/drop-offs (PUDOs), which occupy the limited curb space that was designed and built decades ago. These PUDOs could jam curbside utilization and disturb the mainline traffic flow, evidently leading to significant negative societal externalities. However, there is a lack of an analytical framework that rigorously quantifies and mitigates the congestion effect of PUDOs in the system view, particularly with little data support and involvement of confounding effects. To bridge this research gap, this paper develops a rigorous causal inference approach to estimate the congestion effect of PUDOs on general regional networks. A causal graph is set to represent the spatiotemporal relationship between PUDOs and traffic speed, and a double and separated machine learning (DSML) method is proposed to quantify how PUDOs affect traffic congestion. Additionally, a rerouting formulation is developed and solved to encourage passenger walking and traffic flow rerouting to achieve system optimization. Numerical experiments are conducted using real-world data in the Manhattan area. On average, 100 additional units of PUDOs in a region could reduce the traffic speed by 3.70 and 4.54 miles/hour (mph) on weekdays and weekends, respectively. Rerouting trips with PUDOs on curb space could respectively reduce the system-wide total travel time (TTT) by 2.44% and 2.12% in Midtown and Central Park on weekdays. A sensitivity analysis is also conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed framework.

    Funding: The work described in this paper was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant 52102385], grants from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China [Grants PolyU/25209221 and PolyU/15206322], a grant from the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Smart Cities Research Institute (SCRI) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University [Grant P0043552], and a grant from Hong Kong Polytechnic University [Grant P0033933]. S. Qian was supported by a National Science Foundation Grant [Grant CMMI-1931827].

    Supplemental Material: The e-companion is available at https://doi.org/10.1287/trsc.2022.0195 .

     
    more » « less