Prof. Herzog's Lab: Wei-Hsiang Lin - "Social dominance and decision-making"
Hybrid by invitation only.
Making decisions is one of the most crucial tasks in our daily lives. Several factors possibly affect how one makes decisions. For example, social dominance orientation (SDO), a personality trait reported to be associated with leadership, may play an important role. Here, we investigated how SDO shapes decisions in a variety of decision-making tasks by exploring how several behavioral patterns were associated with the dominance trait. We recruited 146 participants via the online platform Prolific. Each participant completed seven questionnaires to measure their dominance and personality traits as well as six different cognitive tasks. The tasks captured a wide variety of decision-making scenarios such as value-based (lottery choice task), perceptual-based (emotion discrimination task) decisions, and goal-directed behavior (reinforcement learning). Additionally, two control tasks (Go No/Go task and simple reaction time task) were used to measure executive function and motor speed. Firstly, we found a negative correlation between the dominance trait and reaction time of decision-making tasks, suggesting a predisposition for high dominant individuals to act faster. No correlation was found for the control tasks, suggesting that the fast reactions of dominant individuals in decision-making tasks are not merely explained by superior motor ability or increased impulsivity. Additionally, there was no significant relation between dominance trait and accuracy or other decision-related variables, such as risk aversion, reward discounting, or the proportion of making optimal actions in the reinforcement learning framework. Hence, high dominance individuals outperform those of low dominance individuals in making decisions in terms of speed, which does not pertain to their motor or executive abilities. Comparatively, high dominance individuals do not demonstrate superior performance or display unique strategies across a wide range of decision-making scenarios.