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Two sides of the same coin: Information processing style and reverse biases

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  • Shahar Ayal
  • Guy Hochman
  • Dan Zakay

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of information processing styles (indexed by the Rational-Experiential Inventory of Pacini and Epstein, 1999) on adherence to bias judgments, and particularly to reverse biases; i.e., when two choice questions that comprise identical normative components are set in different situations and yield seemingly opposite behavioral biases. We found consistent evidence for a negative correlation between rational score and adherence to reverse biases, as well as overall biases, for all three pairs of reverse biases tested. Further, this effect of rational thinking was more pronounced for high experiential individuals, in that high-rational and high-experiential participants committed fewer biases than all other participants. These results lend weight to our claim that low-rational individuals, who are more sensitive to the context, are more prone to utilize some attribute of the provided information when it is uncalled for, but at the same time tend to ignore it or give it too little weight when it is a crucial factor in a normative decision process.

Suggested Citation

  • Shahar Ayal & Guy Hochman & Dan Zakay, 2011. "Two sides of the same coin: Information processing style and reverse biases," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(4), pages 295-306, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:6:y:2011:i:4:p:295-306
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andreas Glöckner & Tilmann Betsch, 2008. "Multiple-Reason Decision Making Based on Automatic Processing," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_12, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Jiwoong Shin & Dan Ariely, 2004. "Keeping Doors Open: The Effect of Unavailability on Incentives to Keep Options Viable," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 575-586.
    3. Fetherstonhaugh, David & Slovic, Paul & Johnson, Stephen & Friedrich, James, 1997. "Insensitivity to the Value of Human Life: A Study of Psychophysical Numbing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 283-300, May-June.
    4. James Sundali & Rachel Croson, 2006. "Biases in casino betting: The hot hand and the gambler's fallacy," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 1, pages 1-12, July.
    5. Slovic, Paul & Finucane, Melissa & Peters, Ellen & MacGregor, Donald G., 2002. "Rational actors or rational fools: implications of the affect heuristic for behavioral economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 329-342.
    6. Hsee, Christopher K & Leclerc, France, 1998. " Will Products Look More Attractive When Presented Separately or Together?," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 175-186, September.
    7. Baron, Jonathan, 1997. "Confusion of Relative and Absolute Risk in Valuation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 301-309, May-June.
    8. Carissa Bonner & Ben R. Newell, 2008. "How to make a risk seem riskier: The ratio bias versus construal level theory," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, pages 411-416.
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    Cited by:

    1. André Mata, 2016. "Proportion dominance in valuing lives: The role of deliberative thinking," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, pages 441-448.

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