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A naïve sampling model of intuitive confidence intervals
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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 [en]
overconfidence, subjective probability, sampling model, short-term memory, age-differences.
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1354ISBN: 978-91-7264-368-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-1354DiVA: diva2:140742
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
List of papers
1. The naïve intuitive statistician: A naïve sampling model of intuitive confidence intervals
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The naïve intuitive statistician: A naïve sampling model of intuitive confidence intervals
2007 (English)In: Psychological review, ISSN 0033-295X, E-ISSN 1939-1471, Vol. 114, no 3, 678-703 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The perspective of the naïve intuitive statistician is outlined and applied to explain overconfidence when people produce intuitive confidence intervals and why this format leads to more overconfidence than other formally equivalent formats. Thenaïve sampling model implies that people accurately describe the sample information they have but are naïve in the sense that they uncritically take sample properties as estimates of population properties. A review demonstrates that the naïve sampling model accounts for the robust and important findings in previous research as well as provides novel predictions that are confirmed, including a way to minimize the overconfidence with interval production. The authors discuss the naïve sampling model as a representative of models inspired by the naïve intuitive statistician.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington: American Psychological Association, 2007
Keyword
subjective probability, calibration, confidence intervals, overconfidence, sampling model
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2552 (URN)10.1037/0033-295X.114.3.678 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-09-17 Created: 2007-09-17 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Subjective probability intervals: how to reduce overconfidence by interval evaluation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Subjective probability intervals: how to reduce overconfidence by interval evaluation
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
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2553 (URN)10.1037/0278-7393.30.6.1167 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-09-17 Created: 2007-09-17 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. The role of short-term memory capacity and task experience for overconfidence in judgment under uncertainty
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of short-term memory capacity and task experience for overconfidence in judgment under uncertainty
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.

Keyword
Statistical hypothesis testing, short-term memory, confidence, judgment, memory
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2554 (URN)10.1037/a0012638 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-09-17 Created: 2007-09-17 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Adult age differences in the realism of confidence judgments: overconfidence, format dependence, and cognitive predictors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adult age differences in the realism of confidence judgments: overconfidence, format dependence, and cognitive predictors
2008 (English)In: Psychology and Aging, ISSN 0882-7974, E-ISSN 1939-1498, Vol. 23, no 3, 531-544 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Realistic confidence judgments are essential to everyday functioning, but few studies have addressed the issue of age differences in overconfidence. Therefore, the authors examined this issue with probability judgment and intuitive confidence intervals in a sample of 122 healthy adults (ages:

35-40, 55-60, 70-75 years). In line with predictions based on the naïve sampling model (P. Juslin, A. Winman, & P. Hansson, 2007), substantial format dependence was observed, with extreme overconfidence when confidence was expressed as an intuitive confidence interval but not when confidence was expressed as a probability judgment. Moreover, an age-related increase in overconfidence was selectively observed when confidence was expressed as intuitive confidence intervals. Structural equation modeling indicated that the age-related increases in overconfidence were mediated by a general cognitive ability factor that may reflect executive processes. Finally, the results indicated that part of the negative influence of increased age on general ability may be compensated for by an age-related increase in domain-relevant knowledge.(c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved

Keyword
adult age difference, overconfidence, probability judgment, cognitive predictors
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11289 (URN)10.1037/a0012782 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-12-08 Created: 2008-12-08 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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