A contribution of cognitive decision models to clinical assessment: Decomposing performance on the Bechara gambling task

Jerome R. Busemeyer, Julie C. Stout

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

380 Citations (Scopus)


The Bechara simulated gambling task is a popular method of examining decision-making deficits exhibited by people with brain damage, psychopathology, antisocial personality, or drug abuse problems. However, performance on this task is confounded by complex interdependencies between cognitive, motivational, and response processes, making it difficult to sort out and identify the specific processes responsible for the observed behavioral deficits. The authors compare 3 competing cognitive decision models of the Bechara task in terms of their ability to explain the performance deficits observed in Huntington's disease patients as compared with healthy populations and people with Parkinson's disease. The parameters of the best fitting model are used to decompose the observed performance deficit of the Huntington patients into cognitive, motivational, and response sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

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