Francesca De Petrillo

Francesca De Petrillo
Newcastle University | NCL · School of Psychology

Ph.D Environmental and Evolutionary Biology

About

44
Publications
3,815
Reads
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300
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse
Position
  • Research Associate
January 2017 - June 2017
Harvard University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
November 2012 - March 2016
Sapienza University of Rome
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (44)
Article
When faced with choices between smaller sooner options and larger later options (i.e. intertemporal choices), both humans and non-human animals discount future rewards. Apparently, only humans consistently show the magnitude effect, according to which larger options are discounted over time at a lower rate than smaller options. Most of the studies...
Article
Full-text available
As humans, several non-human animal species avoid risk, defined as "variability in rate of gain". However, non-human primate studies revealed a more complicated picture, with different species ranging from risk aversion to risk proneness. Within an ecological rationality framework, a species' feeding ecology should influence its risk preferences, a...
Article
Full-text available
The search for neuronal and psychological underpinnings of pathological gambling in humans would benefit from investigating related phenomena also outside of our species. In this paper, we present a survey of studies in three widely different populations of agents, namely rodents, non-human primates, and robots. Each of these populations offers val...
Article
Cognitive control, or executive function, is a key feature of human cognition, allowing individuals to plan, acquire new information, or adopt new strategies when the circumstances change. Yet it is unclear which factors promote the evolution of more sophisticated executive-function abilities such as those possessed by humans. Examining cognitive c...
Article
Studies of cognition in the wild are crucial for understanding cognition in natural contexts, but studies of animal cognition in captive populations, living in conditions resembling those of their natural environment, complement this approach and provide new insights into the evolution of cognition. To show how these approaches can work in tandem,...
Article
Uncertainty is a ubiquitous component of human economic behaviour, yet people can vary in their preferences for risk across populations, individuals and different points in time. As uncertainty also characterizes many aspects of animal decision-making, comparative research can help evaluate different potential mechanisms that generate this variatio...
Article
Principles of economics predict that the costs associated with obtaining rewards can influence choice. When individuals face choices between a smaller, immediate option and a larger, later option, they often experience opportunity costs associated with waiting for delayed rewards because they must forego the opportunity to make other choices. We ev...
Article
Money represents a cornerstone of human modern economies and how money emerged as a medium of exchange is a crucial question for social sciences. Although non-human primates have not developed monetary systems, they can estimate, combine and exchange tokens. Here, we evaluated quantity–quality trade-offs in token choices in tufted capuchin monkeys...
Article
Humans have generally been considered risk averse for gains. Yet, growing evidence shows that risk preferences may change across reward currencies and depend on the type of tasks used to measure them. Here, we examined how context affects human risk preferences to shed light on the psychological mechanisms underlying human decision-making under ris...
Article
Inference by exclusion, or the ability to select a correct course of action by systematically excluding other potential alternatives, is a form of logical inference that allows individuals to solve problems without complete information. Current comparative research shows that several bird, mammal and primate species can find hidden food through inf...
Article
Humans can use an intuitive sense of statistics to make predictions about uncertain future events, a cognitive skill that underpins logical and mathematical reasoning. Recent research shows that some of these abilities for statistical inferences can emerge in preverbal infants and non-human primates such as apes and capuchins. An important question...
Article
Full-text available
Money is a cultural artefact with a central role in human society. Here, we investigated whether some features of money may be traced back to the exchange habits of nonhuman animals, capitalizing on their ability to flexibly use tokens in different domains. In Experiment 1, we evaluated whether capuchins can recognize token validity. Six subjects w...
Chapter
The Machiavellian intelligence hypothesis and the social brain hypothesis have revolutionized traditional views on how primate cognition can be studied. Beyond the study of individual problem-solving capacities of various primates, these hypotheses have demonstrated the close relationship between the complexity of primate social life and the emerge...
Article
Both human and non-human animals frequently deal with risky decisions in a social environment. Nevertheless, the influence of the social context on decision-making has been scarcely investigated. Here, we evaluated for the first time whether the presence of a conspecific influences risk preferences in rats and in tufted capuchin monkeys. Subjects r...
Book
This interdisciplinary volume brings together expert researchers coming from primatology, anthropology, ethology, philosophy of cognitive sciences, neurophysiology, mathematics and psychology to discuss both the foundations of non-human primate and human social cognition as well as the means there currently exist to study the various facets of soci...
Article
One aspect of decision-making concerns the choice between a risky option, linked to uncertain results, and a safe option. According to Lopes (1983), an individual exposes herself to a «risk» when she makes a decision being aware of the probability of loss associated with it; in contrast, Vlek and Stallen (1981) define «risk» on the basis of how neg...
Article
In humans, emotions play a fundamental role in decision making. Although there is considerable evidence that nonhuman animals exhibit emotions, studies on how emotional responses affect their choice behaviour are scant. We tested tufted capuchin monkeys in a probabilistic choice task, in which subjects were repeatedly offered a choice between a saf...
Poster
Full-text available
Primates often deal with risky decisions, defined as situations with a variable rate of gains. In humans, stress level affects risk preferences, although different studies have yielded contrasting results, also depending on gender. Only one study has so far investigated how social context affects individual risk preferences in non-human primates, s...
Article
Full-text available
Self-control failure has enormous personal and societal consequences. One of the most debated models explaining why self-control breaks down is the Strength Model, according to which self-control depends on a limited resource. Either previous acts of self-control or taking part in highly demanding cognitive tasks have been shown to reduce self-cont...
Article
Self-control failure has enormous personal and societal consequences. One of the most debated models explaining why self-control breaks down is the Strength Model, according to which self-control depends on a limited resource. Either previous acts of self-control or taking part in highly demanding cognitive tasks have been shown to reduce self-cont...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Since failure of self-control has enormous personal consequences, several models attempted to explain why self-control breaks down. According to the Strength Model, self-control is a limited resource. Previous acts of self-control or taking part in highly demanding cognitive tasks may deplete this resource causing short-term impairments in subseque...
Article
When faced with choices between smaller sooner options and larger later options (i.e. intertemporal choices), both humans and non-human animals discount future rewards. Apparently, only humans consistently show the magnitude effect, according to which larger options are discounted over time at a lower rate than smaller options. Most of the studies...
Conference Paper
Individuals commonly face intertemporal choices (i.e., decisions between smaller immediate options and larger delayed options) and probabilistic choices (i.e., decisions between smaller certain options and larger risky ones). Usually people devalue a reward as a function of its delay, a phenomenon known as temporal discounting1, or as the odds agai...
Article
Delaying gratification involves 2 components: (1) delay choice (selecting a delayed reward over an immediate one) and (2) delay maintenance (sustaining the decision to delay gratification even if the immediate reward is available during the delay). Two tasks most commonly have explored these components in primates: the intertemporal choice task and...
Conference Paper
In the delay choice task, in which individuals face choices between smaller immediate rewards and larger delayed rewards, humans discount larger/more preferred delayed rewards less steeply than smaller/less preferred ones (magnitude effect). However, this effect has not yet been observed in animals either for quantity or quality of the reward. We a...
Conference Paper
The capacity of delaying gratification, or foregoing an immediate reward to obtain a better but future reward, involves two components: (i) delay choice (selecting a delayed reward over an immediate one), and (ii) delay maintenance (keeping to the decision of delaying gratification even if the immediate reward is made available during the delay). I...
Conference Paper
The capacity of delaying gratification, or foregoing an immediate reward to obtain a better but future reward, involves two components: (i) delay choice (selecting a delayed reward over an immediate one), and (ii) delay maintenance (keeping to the decision of delaying gratification even if the immediate reward is made available during the delay). I...

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