Andrew Robert Smith

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The present research concerns the hypothesis that intuitive estimates of the arithmetic mean of a sample of numbers tend to increase as a function of the sample size; that is, they reflect a systematic sample size bias. A similar bias has been observed when people judge the average member of a group of people on an inferred quantity (e.g., a disease risk;(More)
In 5 experiments, college students exhibited a group size effect on risk judgments. As the number of individuals in a target group increased, so did participants' judgments of the risk of the average member of the group for a variety of negative life events. This happened regardless of whether the stimuli consisted of photographs of real peers or(More)
People are often egocentric when judging their likelihood of success in competitions, leading to overoptimism about winning when circumstances are generally easy and to overpessimism when the circumstances are difficult. Yet, egocentrism might be grounded in a rational tendency to favor highly reliable information (about the self) more so than less reliable(More)
People must often perform calculations in order to produce a numeric estimate (e.g., a grocery-store shopper estimating the total price of his or her shopping cart contents). The current studies were designed to test whether estimates based on calculations are influenced by comparisons with irrelevant anchors. Previous research has demonstrated that(More)
Effects of exposure to a severe weather disaster on perceived future vulnerability were assessed in college students, local residents contacted through random-digit dialing, and community residents of affected versus unaffected neighborhoods. Students and community residents reported being less vulnerable than their peers at 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year(More)
People must often engage in sequential sampling in order to make predictions about the relative quantities of two options. We investigated how directional motives influence sampling selections and resulting predictions in such cases. We used a paradigm in which participants had limited time to sample items and make predictions about which side of the screen(More)
Understanding how healthfully people think they eat compared to others has implications for their motivation to engage in dietary change and the adoption of health recommendations. Our goal was to investigate the scope, sources, and measurements of bias in comparative food consumption beliefs. Across 4 experiments, participants made direct comparisons of(More)
Exploring the relationship between knowledge and anchoring effects: is the type of knowledge important?. 1 ABSTRACT Numeric estimates are influenced by a variety of factors including a person's knowledge and the presence of numeric anchors. In general, greater knowledge leads to more accurate estimates and the presence of anchors decreases accuracy. This(More)