Do People Predict More Rationality for an Agent Who is in a Hurry?

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In many situations, humans are able to predict other agents’ behavior. It would be useful if a robot would also be able to do this. Cognitive models can be implemented in a robot. For robots and cognitive models, humans are used as inspiration. In many cognitive models about action prediction, rationality, executing the action with the best possible outcome under the constraints of the situation, is assumed (Baker, Tenenbaum, & Saxe, 2007; Blokpoel, Kwisthout, van der Weide, & van Rooij, 2010). However, do humans really expect other agents to act rationally? In other studies (Gergely, Nádasdy, Csibra and Bíró, 1995; Csibra, Gergely, Bíró, Kóos, and Brockbank, 1999; Paulus, Hunnius, van Wijngaarden, Vrins, van Rooij, and Bekkering, in press) rationality was entangled with frequency effects. In the present study, we excluded frequency information. We expected adults to predict other agents’ actions to be rational in the sense of efficient and we expected that this effect was stronger in a race than an everyday context. However, our results suggest that people are not efficient and that the race context does not influence this effect.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen