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This article presents a new theory of subjective probability according to which different descriptions of the same event can give rise to different judgments. The experimental evidence confirms the major predictions of the theory. First, judged probability increases by unpacking the focal hypothesis and decreases by unpacking the alternative hypothesis.(More)
This article concerns a class of experimental manipulations that require people to generate explanations or imagine scenarios. A review of studies using such manipulations indicates that people who explain or imagine a possibility then express greater confidence in the truth of that possibility. It is argued that this effect results from the approach people(More)
Gaissmaier and Schooler (2008) [Gaissmaier, W., & Schooler, L. J. (2008). The smart potential behind probability matching. Cognition, 109, 416-422] argue that probability matching, which has traditionally been viewed as a decision making error, may instead reflect an adaptive response to environments in which outcomes potentially follow predictable(More)
Research has shown that the judged probability of an event depends on the speci®city with which the focal and alternative hypotheses are described. In particular, unpacking the components of the focal hypothesis generally increases the judged probability of the focal hypothesis, while unpacking the components of the alternative hypothesis decreases the(More)
People give subadditive probability judgments--in violation of probability theory--when asked to assess each in a set of 3 or more mutually exclusive hypotheses, as indicated by their sum exceeding 1. Three potential evidential influences on subadditivity--cue conflict, cue frequency, and cue redundancy--are distinguished and tested in 5 experiments using a(More)
Recent research has indicated a negative relation between the propensity for analytic reasoning and religious beliefs and practices. Here, we propose conflict detection as a mechanism underlying this relation, on the basis of the hypothesis that more-analytic people are less religious, in part, because they are more sensitive to conflicts between immaterial(More)
Task completion plans normally resemble best-case scenarios and yield overly optimistic predictions of completion times. The authors induced participants to generate more pessimistic scenarios and examined completion predictions. Participants described a pessimistic scenario of task completion either alone or with an optimistic scenario. Pessimistic(More)
An analytic cognitive style denotes a propensity to set aside highly salient intuitions when engaging in problem solving. We assess the hypothesis that an analytic cognitive style is associated with a history of questioning, altering, and rejecting (i.e., unbelieving) supernatural claims, both religious and paranormal. In two studies, we examined(More)
When the probability of a single member of a set of mutually exclusive and exhaustive possibilities is judged, its alternatives are evaluated as a composite "residual" hypothesis. Support theory (Rottenstreich & Tversky, 1997; Tversky & Koehler, 1994) implies that the process of packing alternatives together in the residual reduces the perceived evidential(More)
We describe four broad characterizations of subjective probability calibration (overconfidence, conservatism, ecologically perfect calibration, and case-based judgment) and show how Random Support Theory (RST) can serve as a tool for representing, evaluating , and discriminating between these perspectives. We present five studies of probability judgment in(More)