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
Date Written: December 2008
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
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