Probability theory: Not the very guide of life
2009 (English)In: Psychological review, ISSN 0033-295X, E-ISSN 1939-1471, Vol. 116, no 4, 856-874 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Probability theory has long been taken as the self-evident norm against which to evaluate inductive reasoning, and classical demonstrations of violations of this norm include the conjunction error and base-rate neglect. Many of these phenomena require multiplicative probability integration, whereas people seem more inclined to linear additive integration, in part, at least, because of well-known capacity constraints on controlled thought. In this article, the authors show with computer simulations that when based on approximate knowledge of probabilities, as is routinely the case in natural environments, linear additive integration can yield as accurate estimates, and as good average decision returns, as estimates based on probability theory. It is proposed that in natural environments people have little opportunity or incentive to induce the normative rules of probability theory and, given their cognitive constraints, linear additive integration may often offer superior bounded rationality.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 116, no 4, 856-874 p.
probability judgment, representativeness heuristic, conjunction error, base-rate neglect, additive integration
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-120885DOI: 10.1037/a0016979ISI: 000270774700006PubMedID: 19839686OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-120885DiVA: diva2:304095
FunderSwedish Research CouncilRiksbankens Jubileumsfond