You Take the High Road, and I'll Take the Low Road: Evaluating the Topological Consistency of Cognitive Models

AbstractWe present a novel framework for assessing the fit of cognitive models. Using this framework, we highlight limitations of existing methods of model evaluation, and derive new approaches to validating cognitive models. Tests of topographical consistency emphasize how a model’s structure constrains behavior on pairs of coupled stimuli, even when point predictions on individual stimuli depend on estimates of the model’s free parameters. By carefully selecting these coupled stimuli such that they follow the distinct topography of the model, researchers can overcome some limitations of existing methods. Finally, we provide a proof-of-concept example of how to use our approach to assess a model of multi-alternative, multi-attribute choice.

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