Calculate or wait: Is man an eager or a lazy intuitive statistician?
2013 (English)In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, Vol. 25, no 8, 994-1014 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Research on people’s ability to act as intuitive statisticians has mainly focused on the accuracy of estimates of central tendency and variability. In this paper, we investigate two hypothesised cognitive processes by which people make judgements of distribution shape. The first claims that people spontaneously induce abstract representations of distribution properties from experience, including about distribution shape. The second process claims that people construct beliefs about distribution properties post hoc by retrieval from long-term memory of small samples from the distribution, implying format dependence with accuracy that differs depending on judgement format. Results from two experiments confirm the predicted format dependence, suggesting that people are often constrained by the post hoc assessment of distribution properties by sampling from long-term memory. The results, however, also suggest that, although post hoc sampling from memory seems to be the default process, under certain predictable circumstances people do induce abstract representations of distribution shape.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 25, no 8, 994-1014 p.
Intuitive statistics, Numerical cognition, Sampling model
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209392DOI: 10.1080/20445911.2013.841170ISI: 000326868000009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-209392DiVA: diva2:657169
FunderSwedish Research Council