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Publication Detail
Optimal indolence: a normative microscopic approach to work and leisure.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Niyogi RK, Breton Y-A, Solomon RB, Conover K, Shizgal P, Dayan P
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    20130969, ?
  • Journal:
    J R Soc Interface
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
    Published online
  • Country:
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    economics, leisure, microscopic, normative, reinforcement learning, work, Algorithms, Animals, Behavior, Brain, Decision Making, Humans, Learning, Leisure Activities, Markov Chains, Models, Theoretical, Probability, Reinforcement (Psychology), Reward, Stochastic Processes, Time Factors
Dividing limited time between work and leisure when both have their attractions is a common everyday decision. We provide a normative control-theoretic treatment of this decision that bridges economic and psychological accounts. We show how our framework applies to free-operant behavioural experiments in which subjects are required to work (depressing a lever) for sufficient total time (called the price) to receive a reward. When the microscopic benefit-of-leisure increases nonlinearly with duration, the model generates behaviour that qualitatively matches various microfeatures of subjects' choices, including the distribution of leisure bout durations as a function of the pay-off. We relate our model to traditional accounts by deriving macroscopic, molar, quantities from microscopic choices.
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