A chapter about the description-experience gap written with Ben Newell was accepted to be published in a new Progress in Brain Research book due out next year. This is a great summary of our perspective on the field, which we have developed over the last 5 years.
I will post the chapter up on the publications page when the proofs come in. In the meantime, here is the abstract:
“The description-experience “gap” refers to the observation that choices are influenced by whether information about potential alternatives is learnt from a summary description or from the experience of sequentially sampling outcomes. In this chapter, we traverse the cognitive steps required to make a decision – information acquisition, storage, representation, and then choice – and at each step briefly review the evidence for sources of discrepancy between these two formats of choice. We conclude that description- and experience-based choice formats lie along a continuum of uncertainty and share important core features, including the explicit representation of probability, the combining of this probability information with outcome information, and utility maximization. The implication of this conclusion is that the differences between description- and experience-based choices emerge from how uncertainty information is acquired, rather than how it is represented or used.”