Contextual Effects in the Interpretations of Probability Words: Perceived Base Rate and Severity of Events

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 781-789

9 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2009

See all articles by Elke U. Weber

Elke U. Weber

Columbia Business School - Management & Psychology

Denis Hilton

University of Toulouse

Date Written: November 1990

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated substantial effects of context on the numerical interpretation of verbal probability statements and has attributed these effects to the perceived base-rate probability of the predicted events. These context effects are shown to be attributable to the perceived severity of the predicted event as well as to the perceived base rate. Furthermore, there is evidence for strong context effects that are not explained by either of these 2 variables. The implications of these results for the use of probability statements in the communication of verbal probability information are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Weber, Elke U. and Hilton, Denis, Contextual Effects in the Interpretations of Probability Words: Perceived Base Rate and Severity of Events (November 1990). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 781-789. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1323466

Elke U. Weber (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Management & Psychology ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Denis Hilton

University of Toulouse ( email )

41 Allées Jules Guesde - CS 61321
TOULOUSE
France

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