Betting on the Unexpected: The Effect of Expectation Matching on Choice Strategies in a Binary Choice Task
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Probability matching is the tendency to predict outcomes in accordance with their actual contingencies in a binary choice task. It is, however, a suboptimal response if the aim is to maximize correct predictions. I review two theories that attempt to explain why probability matching occurs: the pattern-search hypothesis and dual-systems theory. These theories are tested in two studies which suggest that dual-systems theory provides a better account of probability matching behavior. Studies 3, 4, and 5 then provide evidence for an extension of the dual-systems theory, called expectation matching, which is intended to explain why probability matching is the intuitive response to a binary choice problem.