Deciding together is common in our everyday life. However, the process of this joint decision-making plays out across different levels, for example language, intonation, or non-verbal behaviour. Here we focused on non-verbal interaction dynamics between two participants in probability discounting. We applied a gamified decision-making task in which participants performed a series of choices between a small but safe and a large but risky reward. In two experiments, we found that joint decision-making resulted in lower discounting and higher efficiency. In order to understand the underlying mechanisms in greater detail, we studied through which process this variation occurred and whether this process would be modulated by the social distance between both participants. Our findings suggested that socially close participants managed to reduce their discounting by interactive processes while socially distant participants were influenced by the social context itself. However, a higher level of efficiency was achieved through interactive processes for both groups. In summary, this study served as a fine-grained investigation of collaborative interaction processes and its significant impact on the outcome of choices with probabilistic consequences.
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Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. This project was funded by a Volkswagen Foundation grant 89426. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
- Social distance
- Probability discounting
- Process tracing
- Joint decision-making