Judgment Errors and Human Reasoning

Judgment Errors and Human Reasoning

• Submitted By: pencey
• Date Submitted: 03/07/2009 10:16 PM
• Category: Psychology
• Words: 2046
• Page: 9
• Views: 585

Judgment Errors and Human Reasoning
There are many flaws in human reasoning that are popular topics of study among the psychological field. Schemas, heuristics, base-rate neglect, fallacies, and the list goes on. We humans find the importance of understanding our actions and reasoning to be of great importance, going to great lengths to find out exactly what makes an intelligent, logical, learned person make some of the simple and, frankly embarrassing judgments and reasoning’s that we all seem so prone to making. To slightly simplify this specific discussion, I will mainly be discussing the conjunction rule, and several experiments conducted in hopes of developing a better understanding of this strange, but common judgment error. The conjunction rule is a very basic qualitative law of probability. It states that P(A&B) cannot be greater than P(A), or P(B). Certain heuristics can increase the appearance of probability, further complicating it. At first it may seem confusing, but you’ll soon have a much clearer picture of just exactly what this law means to human judgments.

The main theme in all of the research that has contributed to this paper includes what is called the Linda problem. Out of the vast amount of experiments performed by all the researchers, the Linda problem is there almost every step of the way. The original Linda problem gives a description that reads as follows : ‘Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in Philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issued of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations.’ After this description, a list of possible hobbies and professions were listed, and a subject would be asked to pick the most probable statements, or rate the probability of each statement, or perhaps were given just 2 statements and told to pick the most probable (depending on the variation of the study). For the sake of example, on of the more...