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Exploring theoverestimation of conjunctive probabilities
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Department of Psychology, University of Basel.
Department of Psychology, University of Basel.
2013 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 4, 101- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

People often overestimate probabilities of conjunctive events. The authors explored whether the accuracy of conjunctive probability estimates can be improved by increased experience with relevant constituent events and by using memory aids. The first experiment showed that increased experience with constituent events increased the correlation between the estimated and the objective conjunctive probabilities, but it did not reduce overestimation of conjunctive probabilities. The second experiment showed that reducing cognitive load with memory aids for the constituent probabilities led to improved estimates of the conjunctive probabilities and to decreased overestimation of conjunctive probabilities. To explain the cognitive process underlying people’s probability estimates, the configural weighted average model was tested against the normative multiplicative model. The configural weighted average model generates conjunctive probabilities that systematically overestimate objective probabilities although the generated probabilities still correlate strongly with the objective probabilities. For the majority of participants the model was better than the multiplicative model in predicting the probability estimates. However, when memory aids were provided, the predictive accuracy of the multiplicative model increased. In sum, memory tools can improve people's conjunctive probability estimates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 4, 101- p.
Keyword [en]
Judgment; Accuracy; Conjunctive probability; Overestimation; Conjunction fallacy, Configural weighted average hypothesis
National Category
Social Sciences Psychology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-227809DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00101ISI: 000330803100002OAI: diva2:731519
Available from: 2014-07-01 Created: 2014-07-01 Last updated: 2014-07-02Bibliographically approved

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