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Subjective probability intervals: how to reduce overconfidence by interval evaluation
Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
2004 (English)In: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition, ISSN 0278-7393, E-ISSN 1939-1285, Vol. 30, no 6, 1167-1175 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Format dependence implies that assessment of the same subjective probability distribution produces different conclusions about over- or underconfidence depending on the assessment format. In 2 experiments, the authors demonstrate that the overconfidence bias that occurs when participants produce intervals for an uncertain quantity is almost abolished when they evaluate the probability that the same intervals include the quantity. The authors successfully apply a method for adaptive adjustment of probability intervals as a debiasing tool and discuss a tentative explanation in terms of a naive sampling model. According to this view, people report their experiences accurately, but they are naive in that they treat both sample proportion and sample dispersion as unbiased estimators, yielding small bias in probability evaluation but strong bias in interval production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington: The American psychological association , 2004. Vol. 30, no 6, 1167-1175 p.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2553DOI: 10.1037/0278-7393.30.6.1167OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-2553DiVA: diva2:140739
Available from: 2007-09-17 Created: 2007-09-17 Last updated: 2011-06-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A naïve sampling model of intuitive confidence intervals
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A naïve sampling model of intuitive confidence intervals
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A particular field in research on judgment and decision making (JDM) is concerned with realism of confidence in one’s knowledge. An interesting finding is the so-called format dependence effect, which implies that assessment of the same probability distribution generates different conclusions about over- or underconfidence depending on the assessment format. In particular, expressing a belief about some unknown continuous quantity (e.g., a stock value) in the form of an intuitive confidence interval is severely prone to overconfidence as compared to expressing the belief as an assessment of a probability judgment. This thesis gives a tentative account of this finding in terms of a Naïve Sampling Model, which assumes that people accurately describe their available information stored in memory, but they are naïve in the sense that they treat sample properties as proper estimators of population properties (Study 1). The effect of this naivety is directly investigated empirically in Study 2. A prediction that short-term memory is a constraining factor for sample size in judgment, suggesting that experience per se does not eliminate overconfidence is investigated and verified in Study 3. Age-related increments in overconfidence were observed with intuitive confidence interval but not for probability judgment (Study 4). This thesis suggests that no cognitive processing bias (e.g., Tversky & Kahneman, 1974) over and above naivety is needed to understand and explain the overconfidence “bias” with intuitive confidence interval and hence the format dependence effect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Psykologi, 2007. 63 p.
Keyword
overconfidence, subjective probability, sampling model, short-term memory, age-differences.
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1354 (URN)978-91-7264-368-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-10-05, Bt102, Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-09-17 Created: 2007-09-17 Last updated: 2013-12-19Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://content.apa.org/journals/xlm/30/6/1167

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Hansson, Patrik

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