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October 2021

Naive empiricism and dogmatism in confidence research: A critical examination of the hard-easy effect

Author(s): Winman, A., Olsson, H.

Journal/Book: Psychol Rev. 2000; 107: 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, USA. Amer Psychological Assoc. 384-396.

Abstract: Two robust phenomena in research on confidence in one's general knowledge are the overconfidence phenomenon and the hard-easy effect. In this article, the authors propose that the hard-easy effect has been interpreted with insufficient attention to the scale-end effects, the linear dependency, and the regression effects in data and that the continued adherence to the idea of a ''cognitive overconfidence bias'' is mediated by selective attention to particular data sets. A quantitative review of studies with 2-alternative general knowledge items demonstrates that, contrary to widespread belief, there is (a) very little support for a cognitive-processing bias in these data; (b) a difference between representative and selected item samples that is not reducible to the difference in difficulty; and (c) near elimination of the hard-easy effect when there is control for scale-end effects and linear dependency.

Note: Article Juslin P, Umea Univ, Dept Psychol, SE-90187 Umea, SWEDEN

Keyword(s): SUBJECTIVE-PROBABILITY CALIBRATION; IT-ALL-ALONG; GENERAL KNOWLEDGE; JUDGMENT ACCURACY; OVERCONFIDENCE; REALISM; MODEL; DETERMINANTS; RESOLUTION; UNCERTAINTY


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