Every decision we take is accompanied by a characteristic pattern of response delay, gaze position, pupil dilation, and neural activity. Nevertheless, many models of social decision making neglect the corresponding process tracing data and focus exclusively on the final choice outcome. Here, we argue that this is a mistake, as the use of process data can help to build better models of human behavior, create better experiments, and improve policy interventions. Specifically, such data allow us to unlock the “black box” of the decision process and evaluate the mechanisms underlying our social choices. Using these data, we can directly validate latent model variables, arbitrate between competing personal motives, and capture information processing strategies. These benefits are especially valuable in social science, where models must predict multi‐faceted decisions that are taken in varying contexts and are based on many different types of information.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.