Chapter

The Relative Success of Recognition-Based Inference in Multichoice Decisions

Rachel McCloy, C. Philip Beaman and Philip T. Smith

in Heuristics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199744282
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894727 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.003.0016
The Relative Success of Recognition-Based Inference in Multichoice Decisions

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The utility of an “ecologically rational” recognition-based decision rule in multichoice decision problems is analyzed, varying the type of judgment required (greater or lesser). The maximum size and range of a counterintuitive advantage associated with recognition-based judgment (the “less-is-more effect”) are identified for a range of cue validity values. Greater ranges of the less-is-more effect occur when participants are asked which is the greatest of m choices (m 〉 2) than when asked which is the least. Less-is-more effects also have greater range for larger values of m. This implies that the classic two-alternative forced-choice task, as studied by Goldstein and Gigerenzer (2002), may not be the most appropriate test case for less-is-more effects.

Keywords: psychology; decision making; heuristics; mathematical modeling; less-is-more

Chapter.  3984 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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