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The Conjunction Fallacy: Explanations of the Linda Problem by the Theory of Hints


  • Hans Wolfgang Brachinger


  • Paul-André Monney


Empirical research has shown that in some situations subjects tend to assign a probability to a conjunction of two events that is larger than the probability they assign to each of these two events. This empirical phenomenon is traditionally called the conjunction fallacy. One of the best known experiment used to demonstrate the conjunction fallacy is the Linda problem introduced by Tversky and Kahneman in 1982. They explain the “fallacious behavior” by their so-called judgemental heuristics. These heuristics have been heavily criticized by Gigerenzer (1996) as being far “too vague to count as explanations”. In this paper, it is shown that the “fallacious behavior” in the Linda problem can be explained by the so-called Theory of Hints developed by Kohlas and Monney in 1995.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Wolfgang Brachinger & Paul-André Monney, 2002. "The Conjunction Fallacy: Explanations of the Linda Problem by the Theory of Hints," FSES Working Papers 347, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fri:fribow:347

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