Journal article

Task-independent metrics of computational hardness predict performance of human problem-solving

Juan Pablo Franco, Karlo Doroc, Nitin Yadav, Peter Bossaerts, Carsten Murawski

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


The survival of human organisms depends on our ability to solve complex tasks, which is bounded by our limited cognitive capacities. However, little is known about the factors that drive complexity of the tasks humans face and their effect on human decision-making. Here, using insights from computational complexity theory, we quantify computational hardness using a set of task-independent metrics related to the computational requirements of individual instances of a task. We then examine the relation between those metrics and human behavior and find that these metrics predict both performance and effort allocation in three canonical cognitive tasks in a similar way. Our findings demonstrate ..

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