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What is the availability heuristic?
- A mental shortcut that relies on immediate examples that come to a given person's mind when evaluating a specific topic, concept, method or decision.
- The availability heuristic operates on the notion that if something can be recalled, it must be important, or at least more important than alternative solutions which are not as readily recalled.
- Tversky & Kahneman (1973)
- Mayzner & Tresselet (1965)
- Asked whether letters were more likely to appear first of third in words
- 2/3 of p's rated the majority as first
Can the availability heuristic affect our perception of our actions?
- Yes- Ross & Sicoly (1979)
- Our contributions are more salient and so we put more emphasis on them and overestimate the importance and regularity of our actions
- Undergrads, married couples, basketball teams and randoms
- Asked how much they contribute to household activities or group projects
- Everyone overestimates (130% for group projects)
What is the focussing illusion?
- The process on focussing on, and giving undue weight to certain factors when making judgments
- Schkade & Kahneman (1998)
- Midwesterners rate Californians as happier because of the sun
What is the decoy effect?
- The phenomenon whereby consumers will tend to have a specific change in preference between two options when also presented with a third option that is asymmetrically dominated.
- An option is asymmetrically dominated when it is inferior in all respects to one option; but, in comparison to the other option, it is inferior in some respects and superior in others
- Ariely (2008)
- Asked to choose between subscriptions for web magazines including print, print and web or just web
- Nobody chose the print alone and the majority went for the combined option
- When the print alone option was removed, a lot more people chose the web only (cheaper option)
How do recall our past selves?
- Ross (1989)
- Evaluate present self (attributes, behavior etc) as it is salient and available to you (availability heuristic)
- Construct past from present benchmark (did I have any reason to feel differently?)
What is the implicit theory of stability?
- Ross (1989)
- Assume our attributes remain stable over time (exaggerate the consistency between past and present)
- Goethals & Reckman (1973)
- Introduced an attitude change in the lab
- Asked what they wrote in the original questionnaire about their initial opinion
- Ross (1985) told p's that exercise was harmful
- Asked to recall original opinion on exercise
- Asked why they thought this
- Said they answered it on their current answer and figured they wouldn't have changed much since the start of the study
- Niemi et al (1980)
- Asked political allegiance 4 years apart
- Of those who didn't change, 90% correctly identified that they hadn't, but this was the same if they did change
What is the implicit theory of change?
- Assume an attribute with change and exaggerate how much you have changed
- Conway & Ross 1984- Study skills programme, evaluate performance and assigned to the waiting list
- Final meeting, evaluate current study skills and how good you were in the past
- Predicted they were worse in the past and would do better on the exam (did as well as people not on the program)
- 6 months later asked to remember their score on the test, gave inflated estimates
What is the peak-end rule?
- Kahneman (2011)
- Colonoscopy used to occur without anestesia (painful)
- Patient A and B undergo the same procedure and asked to indicate their level of pain every 60 seconds
- Patient A had an 8 minute procedure and B had a 24 minute one
- Level of pain was predicted by the average level of pain recorded at the worst moment of the procedure
- Duration neglect: duration has no effect on retrospective memory
- The peak was the same for both of them but B said the pain was worse as the average was lower (despite being in pain for longer)
- Should we focus on reducing the actual pain or the memory of the pain? (decrease pain slowly, in pain for longer and have a better memory or vice versa?)
- Kahneman et al (either held hand in ice bucket for 60 seconds or 90 seconds with a gradual increase in temperature after 60 seconds, people chose to repeat the second trial more
Does the peak-end rule affect our perception of enjoyment?
- Yes- Wirtz et al (2013)
- How much are you going to enjoy spring break (rate satisfaction levels before, during and afterwards)
- Predicted ratings and remembered ratings are higher than the ratings on the trip
What is the bias blind spot?
- Bias blind spot is the cognitive bias of recognizing the impact of biases on the judgement of others, while failing to see the impact of biases on one's own judgement.
- Pronin et al (2002); found all biases were rated as significantly more likely in the average american or classmate than in oneself
- Only works with bias, not things such as procrastination
- Asked how accurate their ratings would be if objective tests measures were also used
- 24% recognised their bias, over 60% believed their judgements were objective and 13% belived they were too modest
What is the spotlight effect?
- The phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are noticed more than they really are. Being that one is constantly in the center of one's own world, an accurate evaluation of how much one is noticed by others has shown to be uncommon
- Gilovic et al (2000)
- Made people to wear embarrassing shirt with Barry Manilow's face on it and walk into a room
- Asked how many people they thought noticed who was on the t shirt (predicted a lot of people)
- In reality, after an incidental memory test, very few people correctly recalled what was on the shirt
- P's projected their own focus on the t shirt onto everyone else
- Replicated with cool t shirts (the same thing happened despite the fact that even fewer people noticed)
What is the illusion of transparency
- Gilvoich et al (1998)
- A tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which their personal mental state is known by others
- Liars overestimate the the likelihood of others knowing they were lying (Almost 50%) when in fact they could not (Around 25%)
- Could contribute to social anxiety when combined with the spotlight effect
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