# PSYC241 Lecture 5: Heuristics

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7 Apr 2015
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PSYC241 Sept. 27, 2012
- Social Cognition
oCorrespondence inference theory
oKelley’s covariation model
oFixed versus incremental mindsets
- Heuristics
oRepresentativeness
oAvailability
Availability Heuristic
- is the availability heuristic due to the ease of retrieval or the amount of
information retrieved? The ease.
- For example, words that start with r, or more with r as the third letter
- We assume more words that start with r because it is easier for us to think of more
words that start with r. In reality, words with r as the third letter are more common
- Hard to disentangle
Related to Common Biases
- Biased assessment of risk: people tend to be worried about the wrong things. (eg. Afraid
of flying but have no problem driving to the airport when in reality, its far more likely to
be dangerous to drive than to fly) We underestimate the smaller things.
- Medical misdiagnoses: doctors tend to diagnose things that they see more frequently
and less likely to consider rarer cases.
- contributions to joint projects: people giving amounts of contribution they believe they
put in. Totals of all people in the group usually equal above 100%. You only consider
how much you did, you don’t consider how much everyone else contributed.
- fluency: the ease with which we can process information.
Base Rate neglect
- an error in which people ignore the numerical frequency (base rate) of various
events when estimating their likelihood
- lawyer engineer example
- how do I prevent ourselves from doing it? Question whats the likelihood of base
rate?
- a mental shortcut in which we rely on an initial starting point (anchor) to make an
- can affect what people are willing to pay for an item
Information Equally
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