In The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making, Plous (rhymes with house) adds to Cialdini by summarizing important principles in an. For many decades, research in judgment and decision making has examined Outside of psychology, social scientists are now debating the need to modify. subiecte.info: The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making (McGraw-Hill Series in Social Psychology) (): Scott Plous: Books.
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The Psychology of Judgment And Decision Making by Scott Plous Winner of the William James Book Award PRAISE FOR THE PSYC. The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making Summary by Scott Plous reduces the stigma attached to making wrong calls and offers an. Request PDF on ResearchGate | The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making | How do people make decisions? How do they sift through the information.
Do you think you could do that for us? And in fact, this is exactly what they found. See Item 26 of the Reader Survey. Credits appear on pages , and on this page by reference. Yet another filtering technique is to explicitly mention "no opinion" or "don't know" as response alternatives. Following this explanation, the experimenter asked subjects in the control condition to rate how enjoyable the tasks had been.
Scott is also the founder of Social Psychology Network and has published two books and many articles. Every single day, each person faces thousands of choices, and every second is a chance for changing some of those opinions. The social media, internet, tv and other opinion-makers try to entice us with some information, and thereby reshape our mindset.
In fact, it all depends on the situation, and surroundings. Many factors internal and external influence our decision-making capacity and judgmental attitude. This fact-filled book offers several tips on how to improve not just your managerial abilities, but also the give you a clue in the psychology of judgment. For centuries people had been under constant pressure from the society, to think, perform, move and judge in a certain way.
Perhaps, the time has to come to put an end to that. The birth of democracy reduced social restrictions and opened thousands of possibilities for people all around the world.
Even though this was just the beginning, the profile of an average person changed, instantly. The digital era offers plenty of solutions, distributed through various channels. The type of information varies from car repairs to supermarket products; all targeting your mind, and its reaction. To put it differently, TV shows and the Internet caused a shift that lasts to this day.
A prodigious amount of research has been done, followed by scientific conclusions, and analyzes on what exactly can improve the decision-making ability. All joking aside, the everyday reality encourages us, to look for a way out — mostly referring to the madness of today. As a result of this idea, many concepts rose to the surface, all carrying the fragrance of hope. For instance, the selective justice system is typical in each country, despite the efforts to fight corruption. The idea of not having judgment problems is unreal due to the self-orientation arising from the general human inclination.
However, nobody talks about the decision to get there. After all, making the right choices is a piece of cake, or is it? People change, situations change, the world changes, so what makes you think, that your perceptions are valid in any circumstance. The paradox of mixing choices with an open-mindset opposes the conventional methods. On an organizational level, making decisions relies on the structure, but it shares the same issues as the personal one.
You must trust your instinct, and reassure that leadership is a part of your package deal. Each author in our series shares the vision of combining rigorous scholarship with the educator's goal of communicating that information to the widest possible audience of teachers, researchers, students, and interested laypersons. The series is designed to cover the entire range of social psychology, with titles reflecting both broad and more narrowly focused areas of specialization. Instructors may use any of these books as supplements to a basic text, or use a combination of them to delve into selected topics in greater depth.
In this new nnd original integration of the entire field, Scott Pious shows us how a social perspective on judgment and decision making can offer practical suggestions on how to deal with many common problems in daily life. Not only has Pious created an easily grasped overview of a vast research literature; his book includes a number of novel insights, valuable new terms, and intriguing conclusions.
What I believe readers will find most delightful here is the remarkable blend of high-level scholarship and Plous's concern for effectively communicating complex ideas to the broadest possible audience— from undergraduates, to professionals in business and health, to national public opinion leaders.
This book is filled with pedagogical gems, new formulas for enriching old ideas, unique exercises in critical thinking that instruct while they capture the imagination, and provocative juxtapositions of usually unrelated topics.
Rarely has a first book by a young scholar offered so much to so many on such a vital topic. They can read any of 11, magazines or periodicals. And they can flip channels between more than 50 television stations Williams, , February In short, they are faced with a bewildering array of choices. How do people make decisions? How do they sift through the information without drowning in a sea of alternatives? And what are the factors that lead them in a certain direction?
This book offers some tentative answers. It is a book intended for nonspecialists who would like an introduction to psychological research on judgment and decision making.
The focus is on experimental findings rather than psychological theory, surprising conclusions rather than intuitions, and descriptive prose rather than mathematics. It is, in brief, a book designed to entertain and challenge as much as to inform and instruct. The book is divided into six sections. The first two sections cover several building blocks of judgment and decision making: In the third and fourth sections, historical models of decision making are contrasted with recent models that take into account various biases in judgment.
The fifth section examines judgments made by and about groups, and the sixth section discusses common traps in judgment and decision making. Each chapter is intended as a relatively "free standing" review of the topic it covers; thus, readers can skip or rearrange chapters with ease. An unusual feature of this book is the Reader Survey preceding Chapter 1.
The Reader Survey is made up of questions that are reproduced or adapted from many of the studies discussed in later chapters. Once you complete the survey, you will be able to compare your answers with the responses people gave in the original studies. Sometimes your answers will match theirs, sometimes they will not.
In either event, tliough, you will have a written record of what your own style of judgment and decision making was before reading this book. Because your answers to the Reader Survey will be discussed throughout the book, it is very important that you complete the survey before reading any of the chapters. For example, experimental participants are referred to impersonally as "subjects. These concerns are important and deserve some comment. First, the reason for using an impersonal term such as subject is that it often allows for greater clarity than generic terms such as person or individual, and it is less awkward than terms such as participant or volunteer.
The word subject— which is standard in psychology and is used throughout this book— does not mean that psychologists treat experimental participants as though they are inanimate objects.
In fact, the actual subject of most psychological research is not the experimental participant per se— it is the participant's behavior. Second, there are several reasons why deception is sometimes used in psychological research. In many cases, subjects are given vague or misleading "cover stories" so that they are not influenced by the true purpose of the experiment. For example, subjects in an experiment on group dynamics might be told initially that the experiment is about "learning and memory" to keep them from paying too much attention to their division into groups.
In other cases, deception is used to give the appearance of a situation that would otherwise be impossible to create. For instance, subjects in an experiment on creativity might be randomly assigned to receive positive or negative feedback about their solutions to a problem. If subjects were accurately informed in advance that they would be receiving randomly assigned feedback, the feedback would not be viewed as meaningful.
Although there are good reasons to oppose the use of deception in research Warwick, , February , it is important to note that the American Psychological Association has established a set of ethical guidelines designed to protect subjects in the event that deception is used.
These guidelines mandate that subjects be told enough about the experiment to give their informed consent, that deception be used only as a last resort, that subjects be protected from harm or significant discomfort, that subjects be allowed to discontinue participation at any time, that information about individual subjects be treated as confidential, and that any use of deception be explained after the experiment is over.
Most universities require investigators to adhere strictly to these guidelines. Finally, there are several reasons for concentrating on biases and flaws more than successes. The most mundane reason for emphasizing Preface XV such research is that there is simply more of it Kahneman, Academic journals prefer to publish research findings that run counter to ordinary intuitions, and, as a consequence, more research has been published on failures in decision making than on successes.
In this respect, professional journals are similar to newspapers and magazines: They place a premium on news that is surprising or intriguing. Because this book is intended as an introduction to research on judgment and decision making, it naturally reflects the wider priorities of the research community. There is a more important reason for focusing on shortcomings, however. Failures in judgment and decision making are usually more informative than successes— even and especially when successes are the rule.
The attention this book devotes to biases and errors is not meant to imply that people are generally poor decision makers; rather, it suggests that failures in judgment and decision making often reveal how these processes work, just as failures in an automobile often reveal how a car works. As Richard Nisbett and Lee Ross , p. Once you recognize that a certain situation typically leads to biases or errors, you can often sidestep it or take remedial actions.
To facilitate this process, I have included everyday examples from medicine, law, business, education, nuclear arms control my own specialization , and other fields. Indeed, many of the results in this book are general enough that I offer the following pledge to readers not yet familiar with research on judgment and decision making: And for all that coffee, for innumerable discussions late into the night, for love and encouragement and cheerful help every step of the way, I thank Diane Ersepke.
That way, you won't fall prey to hindsight biases, or the "l-knew-it-all-along effect" discussed in Chapter 3 - If you prefer not to write in the book, just jot down your answers on a piece of paper and use the paper as a bookmark.
She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in antinuclear demonstrations. Please check off the most likely alternative: Linda is a bank teller. Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement. In general, how emotional do you think John is?
Circle one number Not emotional at all 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Extremely emotional 4 Jim is intelligent, skillful,, industrious, warm, determined, practical, and cautious. Please circle the other traits you think Jim is most likely to have. Circle one trait in each pair: GenerousUngenerous UnhappyHappy IrritableGood-natured HumorousHumorless 5 Here's a question for college students only; Computed to other students of your sex and age, what are the chances that the following events will happen to you?
Check the one answer that comes closest to your view for each event. The purpose was to build a plane that would not be detected by conventional radar, in other words a radar-blank plane.
When the project is 90 percent completed, another firm begins marketing a plane that cannot be detected by radar. Also, it is apparent that their plane is much faster and far more economical than the plane your company is building. The question is: Should you invest the last 10 percent of the research funds to finish your radar-blank plane?
NO— It makes no sense to continue spending money on the project. Falling airplane parts Shark 8 For each pair, circle the cause of death that is most common in the United States: The government of a country not far from Superpower A, after discussing certain changes in its party system, began broadening its trade with SuperPower B.
To reverse these changes in government and trade, Superpower A sent its troops into the country and militarily backed the original government. Soviet Union United States 9b How confident are you of your answer?
Circle one number. Not confident at all 12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Very confident 10 Here's another scenario: The invasion failed, and most of the original invading forces were killed or imprisoned. Soviet Union United States 10b How confident are you of your answer?
Not confident at all 12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Very confident 11 Place a check mark beside the alternative that seems most likely to occur within the next fen years: An all-out nuclear war between the United States and Russia An all-out nuclear war between the United States and Russia in which neither country intends to use nuclear weapons, but both sides are drawn into the conflict by the actions of a country such as Iraq, Libya, Israel, or Pakistan 12 A piece of paper is folded in half It is folded in half again, and again.
After folds, how thick will it be? Con-sequently, a group would need to contain members in order to be absolutely sure that at least two people shared the same birthday. How many people are necessary in order to be 50 percent certain? Check all that apply Upper left Lower left Upper right Lower right 14b According to the data in the table, is dizziness associated with brain tumors? You have selected a random sample of 50 children for a study of educational achievements.
The first child tested has an IQ of What do you expect the mean IQ to be for the whole sample? Check one Yes No Not sure 17 If all the human blood in the world were poured into a cube-shaped tank, how wide would the tank be?
If you haven't heard of the Rorschach inkblot test, just skip this question. Rank the following interpretations from 1 most predictive of homosexuality to 6 least predictive of homosexuality.
Occasionally, something gets lost from the 'chest' and then we say we have forgotten" Would you say this is a reasonably accurate description of how memory works? How much money did he make in the horse business? A liqueur A precious stone 21b What is the probability that your answer is correct? After examining the risks and the premium you find that you have no clear preference between the options of purchasing insurance or leaving the property uninsured. It is then called to your attention that the insurance company offers a new program called probabilistic insurance.
In this program you pay half of the regular premium. In case of damage, there is a 50 percent chance that you pay the other half of the premium and the insurance company covers all the losses; and there is a 50 percent chance that you get back your insurance payment and suffer all the losses.
For example, if an accident occurs on an odd day of the month, you pay the other half of the regular premium and your losses are covered; but if the accident occurs on an even day of the month, your insurance payment is refunded and your losses are not covered. Recall that the premium for full coverage is such that you find this insurance barely worth its cost. Under these circumstances, would you purchase probabilistic insurance? Yes No 24 Suppose you performed well on a variety of tests over a range of occasions, but other people taking the same tests did not do very well.
What would you conclude? Check the one answer that comes closest to your view. Explanation A: The tests were probably easy. Explanation B: The other people were probably low in ability.
Explanation C: I am either good at faking tests or must have known the material well. Please read them carefully now and continue with the Reader Survey: The ants ate the sweet jelly which was on the table. The ants were in the kitchen. The ants ate the sweet jelly. The ants in the kitchen ate the jelly which was on the table. The jelly was on the table. The ants in the kitchen ate the jelly. The most important problem is: In the first urn, 70 percent of the chips are red and 30 percent are blue.
In the second urn, 70 percent are blue and 30 percent are red. Suppose one of the urns is chosen randomly and a dozen chips are drawn from it: What are the chances that the chips came from the urn with mostly red chips? Give your answer as a percentage. Tosses until Tails: Payoff in Dollars: Which line is equal in length to Line A? Check one answer.
A Line A is equal in length to Line 1. Line A is equal in length to Line 2. Line A is equal in length to Line 3. These functional fuses have been developed after years of scientific investigation of electric phenomena, combined with the fruit of long experience on the part of the two investigators who have come forward with them for our meetings today.
This sentence did not appear before. My confidence rating is: Structure A; Structure B: In other words, a path connects three X's in Structure A one in each of the three rows and nine X's in Structure B one in each of the nine rows.
All judgments and decisions rest on the way we see and interpret the world. Accordingly, this first section discusses the way that judgments and decisions are influenced by selective perception, pressures toward cognitive consistency, biases in memory, and changes in context. Now look at your hands.
Look at the cover of this book. How much of what you see is determined by your expectations? If you are like most people, your perceptions are heavily influenced by what you expect to see. Even when something is right before your eyes, it is hard to view it without preconceived notions.
You may feel that you are looking at things in a completely unbiased way, but as will become clear, it is nearly impossible for people to avoid biases in perception. Instead, people selectively perceive what they expect and hope to see. Bruner and Postman presented people with a series of five playing cards on a tachis-toscope a machine that can display pictures for very brief intervals , varying the exposure time from ten milliseconds up to one second.
The cards they showed these people were similar to the cards on the cover of this book. Take a moment now to note what these cards are. Did you notice anything strange about the cards? Most people who casually view the cover of this book never realize that one of the cards is actually a black three of hearts!
Bruner and Postman found that it took people more than four times longer to recognize a trick card than a normal card, and they found that most reactions to the incongruity could be categorized as one of four types: A dominance reaction consisted mainly in what Bruner and Postman called "perceptual denial.
In the first case, form is dominant and color is assimilated to prior expectations, and in the second case, color 15 Chapter 1 is dominant and form is assimilated. In Brunei anil Postman's experi ment, 27 of 28 subjects or 96 percent oi the people showed dominance reactions at some point. Another reaction people had was to compromise. For instance, some of Bruner and Postman's subjects reported a red six of spades as either a purple six of spades or a purple six of hearts.
Others thought that a black four of hearts was a "greyish" four of spades, or that a red six of clubs was "the six of clubs illuminated by red light" remember, experimental subjects were shown the cards on a tachistoscope. Half of Bruner and Postman's subjects showed compromise responses to red cards, and 11 percent showed compromise responses to black cards. A third way that people reacted to the incongruity was with disruption. When responses were disrupted, people had trouble forming a perception of any sort.
Disruption was rare, but when it happened, the results were dramatic. For example, one experimental subject exclaimed: It didn't even look like a card that time. I don't know what color it is now or whether it's a spade or heart. I'm not even sure now what a spade looks like! My God! Yet even when subjects recognized that something was wrong, they sometimes misper-ceived the incongruity.
Before realizing precisely what was wrong, six of Bruner and Postman's subjects began to sense that something was strange about how the symbols were positioned on the card.
For example, a subject who was shown a red six of spades thought the symbols were reversed, and a subject who was shown a black four of hearts declared that the spades were "turned the wrong way.
In the words of Bruner and Postman p. Item 33 of the Reader Survey contains another illustration of how prior experience can interfere with accurate perceptions. In that question, you were asked to count how many times the letter f appeared in the following sentence: The correct answer is 11 including four times in which f appears in the word of. Because experienced speakers pronounce the word of with a "v" sound, they have more diffi-cully detecting these occurrences of the letter f than do inexperienced speakers, and as a result, past experience actually lowers performance.
Your job, you are told, is to drink a vodka and tonic, wait twenty minutes for the alcohol to enter your bloodstream, and speak with a female assistant of the experimenter in an attempt to make as favorable an impression as possible. The experimenter then mixes a vodka and tonic in proportion to your body weight, hands you the glass, and leaves you in a private room to consume the drink. After you have finished the drink, a female assistant enters the room, sits down, and looks you straight in the eye.
You begin to talk to her. How nervous are you? How fast is your heart beating? When G. Terrence Wilson and David Abrams conducted this experiment, they found that subjects who thought they had been given a vodka and tonic showed much smaller increases in heart rate than subjects who thought they had been given tonic water alone— regardless of whether subjects had actually ingested alcohol.
Heart rates were not significantly affected by whether subjects had been given alcohol to drink; they were affected by whether subjects believed they had been given alcohol to drink. Expectations proved more important than changes in blood chemistry. Using an experimental technique similar to the one used by Wilson and Abrams, these researchers randomly assigned college students to drink either alcoholic beverages or nonalcoholic beverages.
Some of the students had been previously identified as high "sensation seekers" who liked to take risks, and others had been identified as low "sensation seekers. Students were told to drive the simulated car as they would drive a real car. McMillen and his colleagues found that high sensation seekers who believed they had consumed alcohol— whether or not they actually had— changed lanes and passed cars significantly more often than high sensation seekers who, rightly or wrongly, did not have this belief.
In contrast, low sensation seekers who thought they had consumed alcohol were more cautious than low sensation seekers who thought they had not. Equally strong expectancy effects have been found among frequent users of marijuana Jones, Psychologists refer to such influences as "cognitive" lac-tors.
Yet perception is affected not only by what people expect to see; it is also colored by what they want to see. Factors that deal with hopes, desires, and emotional attachments are known as "motivational" factors.
The remaining sections of this chapter discuss instances of selective perception in which motivational factors are intertwined with cognitive factors. Shortly after the kickoff, it became clear that the game was going to be a rough one. Princeton's star player, who had just appeared on the cover of Time magazine, left the game with a broken nose.
Soon thereafter, a Dartmouth player was taken off the field with a broken leg. By the end of the game— which Princeton won— both sides had racked up a sizable number of penalties. Following the game, tempers flared and bitter accusations were traded. Partisans on both sides wrote scathing editorials. For example, four days after the game, a writer for the Daily Princetonian Princeton's student newspaper declared: Princeton, obviously the better team, had no reason to rough up Dartmouth.
Throughout the ensuing week, Dartmouth and Princeton students continued to fiercely debate what had happened and who was responsible. Into that turmoil stepped Albert Hastorf a social psychologist then at Dartmouth and Hadley Cantril a Princeton survey researcher.
Capitalizing on the controversy, Hastorf and Cantril conducted what is now a classic study of selective perception. They began by asking Dartmouth students and Princeton students the following question, among others: Of the Dartmouth students, 53 percent asserted that both sides started it, and only 36 percent said that Dartmouth started it. In contrast, 86 percent of the Princeton students felt that Dartmouth had started it, and only 11 percent said that both sides were initiators.
To explore this question, they asked a new group of students at each school to watch a film of the game and to record any infractions they noticed.
Students from both schools watched the very same film, and they used the same rating system to record any observed infractions. As you can see in Figure 1.
Dartmouth students observed nearly the same number of infractions on both sides 4. In fact, there was such a discrepancy in perceptions that when Princeton sent a copy of the film to several Dartmouth alumni for a group showing, one Dartmouth alumnus who previewed the film could not see any of the Dartmouth infractions and, in confusion, sent Princeton a telegram asking for the rest of the film!
Based on these differences in perception, Hastorf and Cantril , pp. It is inaccurate and misleading to say that different people have different 'attitudes' concerning the same 'thing,' For the 'thing' simply is not the same lor dillerenl people whether the 'thing' is a football game, a presidential candidate, Communism, or spinach.
Vallone, Ross, and Lepper called this phenomenon the "hostile media effect," and they first studied it in the context of the presidential election between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Three days before the election, they asked registered voters to indicate whether media coverage of the candidates had been biased, and if so, to indicate the direction of the bias. What they found is that approximately one-third of the respondents felt that media coverage had been biased, and in roughly 90 percent of these cases, respondents felt that the media had been biased against the candidate they supported.
Intrigued by these initial findings, Vallone, Ross, and Lepper conducted a second study in which 68 "pro-Israeli" college students, 27 "pro-Arab" students, and 49 "generally mixed" or "neutral" students watched the same set of televised news segments covering the tragic Beirut massacre in , a series of Arab-Israeli conflicts had resulted in the massacre of Arab civilians in the refugee camps at Sabra and Chatilla, Lebanon.
The news segments were drawn from six different evening and late-night news programs broadcast nationally in the United States over a ten-day period. In support of the hostile media effect, Vallone, Ross, and Lepper found that each side saw the news coverage as biased in favor of the other side. Pro-Arab students thought the news segments were generally biased in favor of Israel, pro-Israeli students thought the segments were biased against Israel, and neutral students gave opinions that fell between the two groups.
Moreover, pro-Arab students felt that the news programs had excused Israel "when they would have blamed some other country," whereas pro-Israeli students felt the programs blamed Israel "when they would have excused some other country. For example, pro-Arab and pro-Israeli students differed in their perceptions of the number of favorable and unfavorable references that had been made to Israel during the news programs.
On the average, pro-Arab students reported that 42 per-cent of the references to Israel had been favorable and only 26 percent had been unfavorable.
ProIsraeli students, on the other hand, recalled 57 percent of the relerences to Israel as having been unfavorable and only 16 percent as having been favorable. Furthermore, pro-Israeli stu-dents though! Vallone, Ross, and Lepper concluded that partisans tend to view media coverage of controversial events as unfairly biased and hostile to the position they advocate.
They also speculated that similar biases in perception might arise in the context of mediation, arbitration, or other situations in which two sides are heavily committed to prior positions. This speculation makes good sense. As we will see in Chapter 2, when people become committed to a particular cause or a course of action, their perceptions often change in order to remain consistent with this commitment. Even the simple identification of a playing card— or the perception of one's own intoxication— depends critically on cognitive and motivational factors.
Consequently, before making an important judgment or decision, it often pays to pause and ask a few key questions: Am I motivated to see things a certain way? What expectations did I bring into the situation? Would I see things differently without these expectations and motives? Have I consulted with others who don't share my expectations and motives?
By asking such questions, decision makers can expose many of the cognitive and motivational factors that lead to biases in perception. To understand the theory of cognitive dissonance and see how dissonance can influence judgment and decision making, consider a story told by Nathan Ausubel ; see also Deci, , pp. To drive him out of town, a gang of youths visited the shop each day, standing in the entrance and shouting, "Jew!
The next time that the gang came to threaten him, the tailor announced that anyone who called him a Jew would get a dime. He then handed dimes to each member of the gang. Delighted with their new incentive, members of the gang returned the next day, shouting "Jew! The gang left satisfied because, after all, a nickel was a nickel.
Then, on the following day, the tailor gave out only pennies to each gang member, again explaining that he could afford no more money than that. Well, a penny was not much of an incentive, and members of the gang began to protest. When the tailor replied that they could take it or leave it, they decided to leave it, shouting that the tailor was crazy if he thought that they would call him a Jew for only a penny!
Why would members of the gang harass the tailor for free but not for a penny? According to the theory of cognitive dissonance, people are usually motivated to reduce or avoid psychological inconsistencies. When the tailor announced that he was happy to be called a Jew, and when he changed the gang's motivation from antisemitism to monetary reward, he made it inconsistent or "dissonance-arousing" for gang members to please him without financial compensation.
In the absence of a sufficiently large payment, members of the gang could no longer justify behaving at variance with their objective which was to upset the tailor, not to make him happy. Sixty male undergraduates at Stanford University were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions.
And in the control condition, participants simply engaged in the tedious tasks. What were the tasks? First, students spent half an hour using one hand to put 12 spools onto a tray, unload the tray, refill the tray, unload the tray again, and so on. Then, after thirty minutes were up, they spent the remainder of the hour using one hand to turn each of 48 pegs on a pegboard— one-quarter turn at a time! Each participant was seen individually, and the experimenter simply sat by, stopwatch in hand, busily making notes on a sheet of paper.
Once the student had finished his tasks, the experimenter leaned back in his chair and said: I'd like to explain what this has been all about so you'll have some idea of why you were doing this. There are actually two groups in the experiment. In one, the group you were in, we bring the subject in and give him essentially no introduction to the experiment. But in the other group, we have a student that we've hired that works for us regularly, and what I do is take him into the next room where the subject is waiting— the same room you were waiting in before— and I introduce him as if he had just finished being a subject in the experiment.
The fellow who works for us then, in conversation with the next subject, makes these points: It was very enjoyable, I had a lot of fun, 1 enjoyed myself, it was very interesting. Following this explanation, the experimenter asked subjects in the control condition to rate how enjoyable the tasks had been.
You see, we've got another subject waiting [looks at watch] who is supposed to be in that other condition. If you would be willing to do this for us, we'd like to hire you to do it now and then be on call in the future, if something like this should ever happen again. We can pay you a dollar [or twenty dollars, depending on condition] for doing this for us, that is, for doing it now and then being on call.
Do you think you could do that for us? In this instance, the dissonant cognitions were: The task was extremely boring. Festinger proposed that people try whenever possible to reduce cognitive dissonance. He regarded dissonance as a "negative drive state" an aversive condition , and he presented cognitive dissonance theory as a motivational theory despite the word "cognitive".
According to the theory, subjects in the experiment should be motivated to reduce the inconsistency between the two thoughts listed above. Of course, there wasn't much subjects could do about the second thought. On the other hand, the tediousness of the task afforded subjects some room to maneuver.
Tediousness, you might say, is in the eye of the beholder. In the mids, psychologist Daryl Bern proposed that cognitive dissonance findings could be explained by what he called "self-perception theory.
Bern's self-perception theory is based on two main premises: People discover their own attitudes, emotions, and other internal states partly by watching themselves behave in various situations. To the extent that internal cues are weak, ambiguous, or uninter-pretable, people are in much the same position as an outside observer when making these inferences.
The difference between self-perception theory and dissonance theory is that self-perception theory explains classical dissonance findings in terms of how people infer the causes of their behavior, whereas cognitive dissonance theory explains these findings in terms of a natural motivation to reduce inner conflict, or dissonance. According to Bern, subjects in the Festinger and Carlsmith study could have experienced no tension whatsoever and still given the same pattern of results.
A great deal of research has been conducted comparing these theories cf. Bern, , but it is still an open question as to which theory is more accurate or more useful in explaining "dissonance phenomena. In the final analysis, it probably makes sense to assume that both theories are valid in a variety of situations but following psychological tradition, I will use dissonance terminology as a shorthand for findings that can be explained equally well by self-perception theory.
As the next sections demonstrate, cognitive dissonance influences a wide range of judgments and decisions. Most dissonance-arousing situations fall into one of two general categories: In the first type of situation, dissonance or the prospect of dissonance influences the decisions people make.
In the second kind of situation, dissonance or its prospect follows a choice that has already been made, and the avoidance or reduction of this dissonance has an effect on later behavior. They are involved in an accident. The father is killed, and the son is in critical condition. The son is rushed to the hospital and prepared for the operation. The doctor comes in, sees the patient, and exclaims, "I can t operate; it's my son!
Most people would say it is not. They would reason that the patient cannot be the doctor's son if the patient's father has been killed.
At least, they would reason this way until it occurred to them that the surgeon might be the patient's mother. If this possibility had not dawned on you, and if you consider yourself to be relatively nonsexist, there is a good chance you are experiencing dissonance right now see Item 16 of the Reader Survey for a self-rating of sexism.
Moreover, according to the theory of cognitive dissonance, you should be motivated to reduce that dissonance by behaving in a more nonsexist way than ever. In , Jim Sherman and Larry Gorkin used the female surgeon story to test this hypothesis. Sherman and Gorkin randomly assigned college students to one of three conditions in an experiment on "the relationship between attitudes toward social issues and the ability to solve logical problems. In the non-sex-role condition, students were given five minutes to solve an equally difficult problem concerning dots and lines.
And in the control condition, students were not given a problem to solve. In the sex-role and non-sex-role conditions, the experimenter provided the correct solution after five minutes had passed roughly 80 percent of the subjects were not able to solve the assigned problem within five minutes.
Next, subjects were told that the experiment was over, and they were presented with booklets for another experimenter's study about legal decisions the students had been told previously that they would be participating in "a couple of unrelated research projects".
Subjects were informed that the principal investigator of the other study was in South Bend, Indiana, and that they should put the completed booklets in envelopes addressed to South Bend, seal the envelopes, and drop them in a nearby mailbox. Then subjects were left alone to complete the booklet on legal decisions. In reality, the experiment on legal decisions was nothing more than a way to collect information on sexism without subjects detecting a connection to the first part of the experiment.
Subjects read about an affirmative action case in which a woman claimed that she had been turned down for a university faculty position because of her gender.
Then they indicated what they thought the verdict should be, how justified they thought the university was in hiring a man rather than the woman, and how they felt about affirmative action in general. Sherman and Gorkin found that, compared with subjects in the control group and subjects who were presented with the problem concerning dots and lines, subjects who had failed to solve the female surgeon problem were more likely to find the university guilty of sexual discrimination, less likely to see the university as justified in hiring a male for the job, and more supportive of affirmative action policies in general.
In other words, after displaying traditional sex-role stereotypes, students tried to reduce their dissonance by acting more "liberated" or, in terms of self-perception theory, trying to show themselves that they were not sexist.
This method of dissonance reduction, called "bolstering," has also been used successfully to promote energy conservation. Kantola, G. Syme, and N. Campbell found that heavy users of electricity cut their consumption significantly when they were informed of their heavy use and reminded of an earlier conservation endorsement they had made.
The same procedure was lollowecl with toothpaste, aluminum foil, light bulbs, and cookies and, in general, the results lor these items paralleled the results using mouth-wash. What Doob et al. Doob and his associates explained this finding in terms of customer "adaptation levels" and the need to avoid dissonance. They wrote: Furthermore, according to dissonance theory, the more people pay for something, the more they should see value in it and feel pressure to continue buying it.
The net result is similar to that found with many of the behavioral traps discussed in Chapter To test this hypothesis, Knox and Inkster asked people to rate their horse's chances of winning on a 7-point scale in which 1 indicated that the chances were "slight" and 7 indicated that the chances were "excellent. This finding raises an interesting question: Does voting for a c;indi date increase your confidence that the candidate will win the election? In , Oded Frenkel and Anthony Doob published a study exploring this question.
Frenkel and Doob used the same basic procedure as Knox and Inkster ; they approached people immediately before and immediately after they voted.
In one experiment they surveyed voters in a Canadian provincial election, and in another they queried voters in a Canadian federal election.
In keeping with the results of Knox and Inkster, Frenkel and Doob , p. Research on cognitive dissonance is not only bountiful and entertaining, it is directly applicable to many situations. For example, retail stores often explicitly label introductory offers so as to avoid the kind of adaptation effects found by Doob et al.
Similarly, many political campaigns solicit small commitments in order to create postdecisional dissonance this strategy is sometimes known as the "foot-in-the-door technique". In the remainder of this book, we will discuss several other applications and findings from cognitive dissonance theory. One of the leading authorities on dissonance research is Elliot Aronson, a student of Festinger and an investigator in many of the early dissonance experiments for readers interested in learning more about the theory of cognitive dissonance, a good place to begin is with Aronson, , It is therefore appropriate to conclude this chapter with a statement by Aronson , p.
If a modern Machiavelli were advising a contemporary ruler, he might suggest the following strategies based upon the theory and data on the consequences of decisions: If you want someone to form more positive attitudes toward an object, get him to commit himself to own that object 2. Before when the American Psychological Association adopted guidelines for nonsexist language , this literary practice was common in psychology. According to the theory of cognitive dissonance, the pressure to feel consistent will often lead people to bring their beliefs in line with their behavior.
In Chapter 3, we will see that, in many cases, people also distort or forget what their initial beliefs were. It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards," the Queen remarked. See Item 19 of the Reader Survey for your answer. Roughly 85 percent of the college students in a study by P. Lamal , October agreed with this statement, yet some-thing is terribly wrong with the way it characterizes memory aside from the question of whether material is ever truly lost from memory.
Memories are not like copies of our past experiences on deposit in a memory bank. Instead, they are constructed at the time of withdrawal Loftus, ; Myers, The "materials" used in this split-second reconstruction are logical inferences that fill in missing detail, associated memories that blend in with the original memory, and other relevant information.
To verify that memory is reconstructive; try an exercise suggested by Myers Close your eyes and recall a scene in which you experienced something pleasurable.
Don't read any further until you have finished replaying your experience. Did you see yourself in thr scene? Most people do. But if you saw yourself, then you must have reconstructed the scene unless, of course, you were looking at yourself during the original experience. In the first experiment, 45 students were asked to view seven different film clips depicting a traffic accident.
The clips ranged from five to thirty seconds in length and were borrowed from longer driver's education films. After each film clip, students answered a series of questions, including one on how fast the cars had been traveling. One-fifth of the students answered the question: Thus, Loftus and Palmer concluded that the form of a question— even when changed by only one word— can markedly affect how people reconstruct their memory of an event.
If anything, results from the second experiment were even more dramatic. This time, Loftus and Palmer had students watch a one-minute film that included a four-second, multiple-car crash. Fifty students were asked: Then the students returned one week later and, without viewing the film again, answered a series of questions. The key question Loftus and Palmer were interested in was whether students remembered having seen any shattered glass during the car crash.
Loftus and Palmer found that asking students how fast the cars were going when they "smashed" not only led to faster estimates, but that one week later, a greater proportion of the students remembered the accident as having involved broken glass.
The results, which show statistically reliable differences among the experimental conditions, are shown in Table 3. What is interesting about these results is that the accident never involved broken glass— subjects who estimated the speed of smashing cars reconstructed the accident so that it involved broken glass! In , John Bransford and Jeffrey Franks further showed that memories are not stored separately from one another. Bransford and Franks initially presented college students with a list of sentences about an event.
For example, one of the lists— reprinted on page 7 of the Reader Survey— went like this: Then, after five minutes or so, students were presented with another list of sentences and asked to indicate which sentences were in the first list. They were also asked to rate their confidence in each answer on a scale from 1 to 5. Item 34 in the Reader Survey contains a second list o! As it happens, the only sentence that appeared in the first set was Item 34c: Were you? What is significant about the sentence in Item 34b is that it contains combinations of relations that are not contained in any individual sentence from the first set.
The original sentences never explicitly stated that the jelly in the kitchen was sweet, or that the ants in the kitchen ate the sweet jelly. The sentence in Item 34b can only be derived by combining separate sentences from the first set. Thus, people do not simply memorize sentences; they construct and memorize a general scenario.
Once one piece of information is integrated with others, it is sometimes difficult to remember which information was new and which was already known.
For example, if they learn about the results of a psychological experiment, they tend to regard the findings as having been fairly predictable all along— or at least more predictable than they would have judged before learning of the results one of the reasons why this book has a Reader Survey! Moreover, if people are asked to behave as though they know nothing about the outcome of an experiment, they still respond more like people who know about the results than people who do not.
That is, if they are asked to estimate in retrospect how likely they once thought the results were to occur, they assign higher probabilities than do people predicting the experimental outcome in advance. This tendency is known as "hindsight bias," or the "I-knew-it-all-along" effect. Hindsight bias is the tendency to view what has already happened as relatively inevitable and obvious— without realizing that retrospective knowledge of the outcome is influencing one's judgments.
One of the first studies on hindsight bias was published in by Baruch Fischhoff and Ruth Beyth. In the first phase of the experiment, several groups of Israeli students were asked to estimate the probability of 15 different outcomes for either the China trip or the Soviet trip— before the trip took place.
For example, students who were asked about the China trip estimated the chances that the United States would establish a diplomatic mission in Peking, that President Nixon would meet Mao at least once, that President Nixon would announce the trip a success, and so forth. Similarly, students who were asked about Nixon's trip to the Soviet Union estimated outcomes such as the establishment of a joint space program, or the arrest of Soviet Jews trying to speak with Nixon.
In the second phase of the study— two weeks to six months after the trip had taken place— students were asked to recall what their earlier predictions had been. For instance, students who had answered ques-tions about the China trip were told the following: We are presently interested in the relation between the quality of people's predictions and their ability to remember their predictions.
For this reason, we would like to have you fill out once again the same questionnaire which you completed two weeks ago, giving the same probabilities which you gave then. If you cannot remember the probability which you then assigned, give the probability which you would have given to each of the various outcomes on the eve of President Nixon's trip to China. Students were also asked to indicate whether, as far as they knew, each outcome had in fact occurred.
Fischhoff and Beyth wanted to see if students would remember their predictions as having been more accurate than they actually were. In general, this is just what Fischhoff and Beyth found. Three-quarters of the students tended to remember having assigned higher probabilities than they actually had to outcomes that they thought had occurred, and the majority of students remembered having assigned lower probabilities to outcomes they believed had not occurred. Hindsight biases were particularly strong when the initial predictions preceded the recall task by several months.
When three to six months separated the prediction and recall tasks, 84 percent of the students showed hindsight biases— after learning the outcome of Nixon's trips, they viewed the outcome as having been more predictable than it actually was. Slovic and Fischhoff found that hindsight biases diminished when people stopped to consider reasons why the results might have turned out differently.
Subjects in this research read four brief descriptions of studies drawn from biology, psychology, and meteorology. Foresight subjects were told that the four studies would be conducted soon, and hindsight subjects were told that the studies had already been conducted.
After reading about each study, all subjects then estimated the probability of replicating an outcome obtained on the first experimental trial each trial always had two possible outcomes. In other words, hindsight subjects were told that a particular outcome had already been observed, and foresight subjects were asked to suppose the outcome occurred. This difference was substantially reduced, however, when hindsight subjects were asked to consider reasons why either experimental outcome might have occurred.
Hindsight bias was still present in this case, but to a much lesser degree. Thus, the moral of the story is as follows: If you want to reduce hindsight biases, you should explicitly consider how past events might have turned out differently.
If you only consider the reasons why something turned out as it did, you run a good risk of overestimating how inevitable that outcome was and how likely similar outcomes are in the future. In fact, Fischhoff has found that informing people about hindsight bias and encouraging them to avoid it is not enough to remove the bias.
To avoid the ravages of hindsight bias, it is important to consider how an alternative outcome might have occurred. Two weeks later, the psychologists contacted all the participants and asked them to write down everything they could remember about the discussion.
When these accounts were checked against the original recording, it turned out that respondents typically omitted more than 90 percent of the specific points that had been discussed. Moreover, of the points that were recalled, nearly half were substantially incorrect.
Respondents remembered comments that were never made, they transformed casual remarks into lengthy orations, and they converted implicit meanings into explicit comments.
This story highlights the value of keeping accurate records. Even the most sophisticated decision maker is susceptible to biases in memory, and there is no better way to avoid these biases than maintaining careful notes and records of past events e. As the research in this chapter shows, memory is, by its very nature, reconstructive and highly dependent upon contextual factors.
Chapter 4 further explores the effects of context on judgment and decision making. In one situation, a stimulus for example, a personality trait may be perceived one way, and in another situation, the "same" stimulus may be seen very differently. Many perceptual illusions exploit the principle of context dependence see Figure 4. In the area of judgment and decision making, four of the best illustrations of context dependence are the contrast effect, the primacy effect, the recency effect, and the halo effect.
All you need is three large bowls of water. Fill the first bowl with hot water, the second bowl with tepid water, and the third bowl with ice water. Next, submerge one hand in the hot bowl and one in the cold bowl, and keep them there for thirty seconds.
Once your hands have adjusted to the water temperature, place the "hot" hand in the bowl of tepid water and, after five seconds, join it with the "cold" hand.