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Most people are caring and will exert great effort to rescue individual victims whose needy plight comes to their attention. These same good people, however, often become numbly indifferent to the plight of individuals who are " one of many " in a much greater problem. Why does this occur? The answer to this question will help us answer a related question(More)
Modern theories in cognitive psychology and neuroscience indicate that there are two fundamental ways in which human beings comprehend risk. The "analytic system" uses algorithms and normative rules, such as probability calculus, formal logic, and risk assessment. It is relatively slow, effortful, and requires conscious control. The "experiential system" is(More)
Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment (pp. 397-420). New York: Cambridge University Press,2002. This chapter introduces a theoretical framework that describes the importance of affect in guiding judgments and decisions. As used here,. affect means the specific quality of "goodness" or "badness" (1) experienced as a feeling state (with(More)
A series of four studies explored how the ability to comprehend and transform probability numbers relates to performance on judgment and decision tasks. On the surface, the tasks in the four studies appear to be widely different; at a conceptual level, however, they all involve processing numbers and the potential to show an influence of affect. Findings(More)
The "identifiable victim effect" refers to peoples' tendency to preferentially give to identified versus anonymous victims of misfortune, and has been proposed to partly depend on affect. By soliciting charitable donations from human subjects during behavioral and neural (i.e., functional magnetic resonance imaging) experiments, we sought to determine(More)
Risk is perceived and acted on in 2 fundamental ways. Risk as feelings refers to individuals' fast, instinctive, and intuitive reactions to danger. Risk as analysis brings logic, reason, and scientific deliberation to bear on risk management. Reliance on risk as feelings is described with "the affect heuristic." The authors trace the development of this(More)
This article reports progress in an ongoing research program examining older adults' decision-making competence (DMC). Using a theoretical framework that emphasizes the person-task fit in assessing DMC, the authors report the results of a study comparing older versus younger adults' decision performance on simple and complex tasks about health, finance, and(More)
Cigarette smoking is a major source of mortality and medical costs in the United States. More graphic and salient warning labels on cigarette packs as used in Canada may help to reduce smoking initiation and increase quit attempts. However, the labels also may lead to defensive reactions among smokers. In an experimental setting, smokers and nonsmokers were(More)
When people learn a complex skill like computer text editing they are learning a set of goals and the plans for accomplishing those goals. In this experiment we examined the structure and development of simple text-editing goals and plans. Long interkeystroke times were found to be associated with plan boundaries. The longest times were found between(More)
Charitable giving in 2013 exceeded $300 billion, but why do we respond to some life-saving causes while ignoring others? In our first two studies, we demonstrated that valuation of lives is associated with affective feelings (self-reported and psychophysiological) and that a decline in compassion may begin with the second endangered life. In Study 3, this(More)