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A resource-rational analysis of human planning


Conference Paper


People's cognitive strategies are jointly shaped by function and computational constraints. Resource-rational analysis leverages these constraints to derive rational models of people's cognitive strategies from the assumption that people make rational use of limited cognitive resources. We present a resource-rational analysis of planning and evaluate its predictions in a newly developed process tracing paradigm. In Experiment 1, we find that a resource-rational planning strategy predicts the process by which people plan more accurately than previous models of planning. Furthermore, in Experiment 2, we find that it also captures how people's planning strategies adapt to the structure of the environment. In addition, our approach allows us to quantify for the first time how close people's planning strategies are to being resource-rational and to characterize in which ways they conform to and deviate from optimal planning.

Author(s): Frederick Callaway and Falk Lieder and Priyam Das and Sayan Gul and Paul M. Krueger and Thomas L. Griffiths
Book Title: Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Year: 2018
Month: May

Department(s): Rationality Enhancement
Bibtex Type: Conference Paper (inproceedings)

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.15636.40326

Note: Frederick Callaway and Falk Lieder contributed equally to this publication.


  title = {A resource-rational analysis of human planning},
  author = {Callaway, Frederick and Lieder, Falk and Das, Priyam and Gul, Sayan and Krueger, Paul M. and Griffiths, Thomas L.},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society},
  month = may,
  year = {2018},
  note = {Frederick Callaway and Falk Lieder contributed equally to this publication.},
  month_numeric = {5}