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PSYCH 253 (142)

Social Judgment

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University of Waterloo
Hilary B Bergsieker

Social Judgment Persistence of false beliefs - Conspiracy theories (houses can be haunted, extraterrestrial beings, communications with the dead) - Ideal scientific vs. intuitive thinking o Expends effort, caution to reach correct conclusions o Seeks out evidence that could falsify a hypothesis o Attends to evidence that violates own hypothesis o Does not act to alter the observed phenomenon - vs. Intuitive thinking o Rushes to judgment by relying on heuristics o Does not seek out/ignores falsifying information o Is biased to see patterns matching own expectations o Acts in ways that alter the observed phenomenon Intuition inaction - Inferential Heuristics o Easy, intuitive judgments involve computations out minds perform naturally and automatically without deliberation  i.e. Liking/disliking, similarity; perceptual/cognitive fluency o Other judgments are not automated and demand more extensive attention and resource-dependent deliberation  i.e. probability; scope/importance o Attribute substitution: when judgments tax information – processing capacities, people often substitute an answer to a related judgment that is easier and more intuitive o Feeling Heuristic  Our reliance on the feelings that we experience as we think about a topic to judge importance, risk, or satisfaction  Potential problems with feelings  Less attuned to abstract than concrete stimuli  Contaminated by irrelevant experiences  Substitution effect: we are likely to colour judgment with mood when we are not reminded of our feelings o Representativeness Heuristics  Our tendency to classify something according to how similar it seems to a typical case  Potential problems  Involves base rate neglect  Not all category/classification members are typical  Leads to conjunction fallacy (people think that two conditions are more likely than a single condition) o Availability Heuristic  Our tendency to base a judgment on the ease with which something can be brought to mind  Potential problem  Vivid instances come more readily to mind  Statistical, fact
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