Probability and choice in the selection task

Thinking and Reasoning 3 (3):209-235 (1997)
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Two experiments using a realistic version of the selection task examined the relationship between participants' probability estimates of finding a counter example and their selections. Experiment 1 used everyday categories in the context of a scenario to determine whether or not the number of instances in a category affected the estimated probability of a counter-example. Experiment 2 modified the scenario in order to alter participants' estimates of finding a specific counter-example. Unlike Kirby 1994a, but consistent with his proposals, both studies showed that probability estimates significantly predicted selection. Overall results point to the value of understanding selections in terms of their subjective expected utility



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