This is a project I no longer want to do for a very weird reason. I have voices due to my paranoid schizophrenia and although my psychoses have inspired a large number of projects, I do not feel good about doing this particular project because the voices helped me understand that regret and expectation were different. If you have heard of paranoid schizophrenia, you might understand that schizophrenics often feel like their brain split apart and that what would usually be considered their own thoughts feel to them like someone else's thoughts. So I felt like someone else was trying to help me read about decision theory and basically decided that decision theory ideas were therefore the intellectual property of the voices and not me.
But before that happened, I had an idea. I think it's an interesting one. In decision theory, there's this idea of minimax and there's also this idea of expectation in terms of utility. The two do different things. In minimax or regret formulations, you take the best action you possibly can in terms of utility in the worst possible environment. In expectation formulations, you take the best action policy for the expected value of the utility. But when people talk about how organisms have evolved and someone invokes optimization, the knee-jerk response often is: but aren't organisms often just "good enough"?
I feel like it's almost obvious that the minimax formulation of decision theory leads to organisms that are just good enough in every environment they encounter. I think to support this, one would need to do some simulations and consider a simple environment in which they can show that the minimax solution actually leads to "good enough" or satisficing behavior. Now, it is definitely going to be easy to come up with counterexamples, in which the minimax solution is very far from "good enough" for some environments. But I feel like we haven't evolved in those pathological conditions, so that realistic simulations would place minimax solutions closer to "good enough".
The mechanism by which organisms evolve or adapt to achieve minimax optimality might actually explain the "good enough" behavior, too-- adapting to a constantly fluctuating environment can be used as a stand-in for minimax, which would undoubtedly imply good enough.
Perhaps someone has already done this, but if not, here's an idea that I'm throwing out into the ether.