27 January 2011
Psych 178 – Lecture 8
The Person as a Decision Maker
• You are at a horse race and there are a number of horses running and each horse has a probability of
winning and a payoff and you have to choose where to place your money. Expectancy value theory says
that what determines your choice is what are you going to get and what are your odds of getting it?
• The ultimate goal of life is hedonic. Not to maintain balance or to expand your gene pool. To achieve
maximum gain with minimal loss. It assumes people are selfish and act out of self interest.
o Take a group of rats with the tendency to turn right and breed them so that they all eventually turn
right. There is food at the right side of the maze. You do not know if the rat turns right because of
evolutionary history or if it is how it maximizes its gains because it is a selfish rat.
You either argue it must – it is a machine or it is a choice – a choice that leads to a gai