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What Comes to Mind

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  • Nicola Gennaioli
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

We present a model of judgment under uncertainty, in which an agent combines data received from the external world with information retrieved from memory to evaluate a hypothesis. We focus on what comes to mind immediately, as the agent makes quick, intuitive evaluations. Because the automatic retrieval of data from memory is both limited and selected, the agent's evaluations may be severely biased. This framework can account for some of the evidence on heuristics and biases presented by Kahneman and Tversky, including conjunction and disjunction fallacies.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15084.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15084.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Publication status: published as Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "What Comes to Mind," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1399-1433, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15084

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  1. Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Inference by Believers in the Law of Small Numbers," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4sw8n41t, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Joel L. Schrag, 1999. "First Impressions Matter: A Model Of Confirmatory Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 37-82, February.
  3. Jehiel, Philippe, 2005. "Analogy-based expectation equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 81-104, August.
  4. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1997. "Games with Procedurally Rational Players," Department of Economics Working Papers 1997-02, McMaster University.
  5. Johnson, Eric J, et al, 1993. " Framing, Probability Distortions, and Insurance Decisions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 35-51, August.
  6. Shleifer, Andrei & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Schwartzstein, Joshua, 2008. "Coarse Thinking and Persuasion," Scholarly Articles 11022284, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
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