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The role of short-term memory capacity and task experience for overconfidence in judgment under uncertainty
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University.
Uppsala University.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition, ISSN 0278-7393, E-ISSN 1939-1285, Vol. 34, no 5, 1027-1042 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research with general knowledge items demonstrates extreme overconfidence when people estimate confidence intervals for unknown quantities, but close to zero overconfidence when the same intervals are assessed by probability judgment. In 3 experiments, the authors investigated if the overconfidence specific to confidence intervals derives from limited task experience or from short-term memory limitations. As predicted by the naïve sampling model (P. Juslin, A. Winman, & P. Hansson, 2007), overconfidence with probability judgment is rapidly reduced by additional task experience, whereas overconfidence with intuitive confidence intervals is minimally affected even by extensive task experience. In contrast to the minor bias with probability judgment, the extreme overconfidence bias with intuitive confidence intervals is correlated with short-term memory capacity. The proposed interpretation is that increased task experience is not sufficient to cure the overconfidence with confidence intervals because it stems from short-term memory limitations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 34, no 5, 1027-1042 p.
Keyword [en]
Statistical hypothesis testing, short-term memory, confidence, judgment, memory
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2554DOI: 10.1037/a0012638OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-2554DiVA: diva2:140740
Available from: 2007-09-17 Created: 2007-09-17 Last updated: 2011-06-09Bibliographically 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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