Two-stage reinforcement learning task predicts psychological traits.
Treviño M., Castiello S., De la Torre-Valdovinos B., Osuna Carrasco P., Medina-Coss Y León R., Arias-Carrión O.
External sources of information influence human actions. However, psychological traits (PTs), considered internal variables, also play a crucial role in decision making. PTs are stable across time and contexts and define the set of behavioral repertoires that individuals express. Here, we explored how multiple metrics of adaptive behavior under uncertainty related to several PTs. Participants solved a reversal-learning task with volatile contingencies, from which we characterized a detailed behavioral profile based on their response sequences. We then tested the relationship between this multimetric behavioral profile and scores obtained from self-report psychological questionnaires. The PT measurements were based on the Hierarchical Taxonomy Of Psychopathology (HiTOP) model. By using multiple linear regression models (MLRMs), we found that the learning curves predicted important differences in the PTs and task response times. We confirmed the significance of these relationships by using random permutations of the predictors of the MLRM. Therefore, the behavioral profile configurations predicted the PTs and served as a "fingerprint" to identify participants with a high certainty level. We discuss briefly how this characterization and approach could contribute to better nosological classifications.