Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On the Misperception of Variability

Contents:

Author Info

  • Yaakov Kareev

    ()

  • Sharon Arnon
  • Reut Horwitz-Zeliger
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Ever since the days of Francis Bacon it has been claimed that people perceive the world as less variable and more regular than it actually is. Such misperception, if shown to exist, could explain a host of perplexing behaviors. However, the only evidence supporting the claim is indirect, and there is no explanation of its cause. As a possible cause, we suggest the use of sample variability as an estimate of population variability. This is so since the sampling distribution of sample variance is downward attenuated, the attenuation being substantial for sample sizes that people are likely to consider. The results of five experiments show that people use sample variability, uncorrected for sample size, in tasks in which a correction is normatively called for, and indeed perceive variability as smaller than it actually is.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/dp285.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem in its series Discussion Paper Series with number dp285.

    as in new window
    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2002
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2002, vol. 131, pp. 287-297.
    Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp285

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Feldman Building - Givat Ram - 91904 Jerusalem
    Phone: +972-2-6584135
    Fax: +972-2-6513681
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.ratio.huji.ac.il/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Alessandro Innocenti & Patrizia Latturolo & Maria Grazia Pazienza, 2009. "Heuristics and Biases in Travel Mode Choice," Working Papers 0905, SIET Società Italiana di Economia dei Trasporti e della Logistica.
    2. Yaakov Kareev & Massimo Warglien, 2003. "Cognitive Overload and the Evaluation of Risky Alternatives: The Effects of Sample Size, Information Format and Attitude To Risk," Discussion Paper Series, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem dp340, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    3. Yaakov Kareev & Klaus Fiedler, 2003. "On the Accentuation of Contingencies: The Sensitive Research Designer versus the Intuitive Statistician," Discussion Paper Series, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem dp346, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    4. Innocenti, Alessandro & Lattarulo, Patrizia & Pazienza, Maria Grazia, 2013. "Car stickiness: Heuristics and biases in travel choice," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 158-168.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp285. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ilan Nehama).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.