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Time to decide? Simplicity and congruity in comparative judgment

Frosch, C. A., McCloy, R. ORCID:, Beaman, C. P. and Goddard, K. (2015) Time to decide? Simplicity and congruity in comparative judgment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 4 (1). pp. 42-54. ISSN 0278-7393

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1037/a0037411


What is the relationship between magnitude judgments relying on directly available characteristics versus probabilistic cues? Question frame was manipulated in a comparative judgment task previously assumed to involve inference across a probabilistic mental model (e.g., “which city is largest” – the “larger” question – versus “which city is smallest” – the “smaller” question). Participants identified either the largest or smallest city (Experiments 1a, 2) or the richest or poorest person (Experiment 1b) in a three-alternative forced choice (3-AFC) task (Experiment 1) or 2-AFC task (Experiment 2). Response times revealed an interaction between question frame and the number of options recognized. When asked the smaller question, response times were shorter when none of the options were recognized. The opposite pattern was found when asked the larger question: response time was shorter when all options were recognized. These task-stimuli congruity results in judgment under uncertainty are consistent with, and predicted by, theories of magnitude comparison which make use of deductive inferences from declarative knowledge.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
ID Code:36944
Uncontrolled Keywords:simple heuristics; congruity effect; magnitude judgments; response times
Publisher:American Psychological Association.


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