Base-Rate Respect by Intuition: Approximating Rational Choices in Base-Rate Tasks with Multiple Cues

19 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2008 Last revised: 6 Jan 2009

See all articles by Andreas Glöckner

Andreas Glöckner

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne

Stephan Dickert

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: December 2008

Abstract

Although intuitive-automatic processes sometimes lead to systematic biases in judgment and choice, in many situations especially this kind of processes enables people to approximate rational choices. In complex base-rate tasks with repeated outcome feedback we observed choices which were in line with the Bayes' solution in 86% of the cases and which were made within a relatively short time (i.e., 2.2 seconds). The results indicate reliance on extremely well-calibrated intuition. This view is supported by the findings that choice proportions are almost perfectly predicted by posterior probabilities (r = .93), and that error rates, response times and confidence ratings are highly correlated with inconsistency in the provided information. Our results support the hypothesis that parallel constraint satisfaction models may account for the processes underlying intuition and make the application of simple heuristics and deliberate strategies very unlikely. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, implications for economic and psychological modeling are outlined.

Keywords: Decision Making, Intuition, Base-rate Neglect, Heuristics, Parallel Constraint Satisfaction

Suggested Citation

Glöckner, Andreas and Dickert, Stephan, Base-Rate Respect by Intuition: Approximating Rational Choices in Base-Rate Tasks with Multiple Cues (December 2008). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2008/49. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1316848 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1316848

Andreas Glöckner (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/team/page/andreas_gloeckner

University of Cologne ( email )

Richard-Strauss-Str. 2
Köln, 50931
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://soccco.uni-koeln.de/andreas-gloeckner.html

Stephan Dickert

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

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