BISC 121Lg Chapter 13: Chapter 13

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University of Southern California
Biological Sciences
BISC 121Lg

Chapter 13 • Decisions- process of making choices between alternatives • Reasoning- process of drawing conclusions • Decisions are based on judgements which require reasoning • Inductive reasoning- based on observations or reaching conclusions from evidence o Conclusions are probably true o Factors that make inductive arguments stronger: ▪ Representativeness of observations ▪ Number of observations ▪ Quality of the evidence o Predictions based on past experiences • Heuristic- shortcut “rules of thumb” that are likely to give the right answer o Availability heuristic- events that are more easy to remember are judged as more probable to occur o Illusory correlation- when a correlation between two events appears to exist but actually doesn’t ▪ Stereotype- oversimplified generalization about a group • Related to availability heuristic o Representativeness heuristic- probability of someone/something being a part of something based on how well it represents that thing ▪ Base rate- relative proportion of different classes of people in the population o Conjunction rule- probability of both A & B occurring must be less than A & B separately o Law of large numbers- larger the number of individuals that are randomly drawn from a population, the more representative of the entire population • Myside bias- tendency to evaluate and test hypotheses in a biased way • Confirmation bias- any situation where information that confirms a hypothesis is favored o Myside bias is a type of this • Expected utility theory- people with all the relevant information will make the decision that achieves maximum utility o Utility- outcomes that achieve a person’s goals o Gambling disproves this • People with prefrontal cortex damage (emotional flatness) have impaired decision making • Expected emotions- emotions that people predict they’ll feel for an outcome • Risk aversion- tendency to avoid taking risks • People highly overestimate the possibility of negative feelings • Incidental emotions- emotions that are not caused by having to make a decision o General disposition of the environment • More difficult decisions result in more people not making a decision • Decisions are dependent on the context in which they’re being made • Opt-in procedure- requires people to take an active people o Less people
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