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Missing the dog that failed to bark in the nighttime: on the overestimation of occurrences over non-occurrences in hypothesis testing.

Cherubini, P, Rusconi, P, Russo, S and Crippa, F (2013) Missing the dog that failed to bark in the nighttime: on the overestimation of occurrences over non-occurrences in hypothesis testing. Psychol Res, 77 (3). pp. 348-370.

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Abstract

In three studies, we investigated whether and to what extent the evaluation of two mutually exclusive hypotheses is affected by a feature-positive effect, wherein present clues are weighted more than absent clues. Participants (N = 126) were presented with abstract problems concerning the most likely provenance of a card that was drawn from one of two decks. We factored the correct response (the hypothesis favored by the consideration of all clues) and the ratio of present-to-absent features in each set of observations. Furthermore, across the studies, we manipulated the presentation format of the features' probabilities by providing the probability distributions of occurrences (Study 1), non-occurrences (Study 3) or both (Study 2). In all studies, both participant preference and accuracy were mostly determined by an over-reliance on present features. Moreover, across participants, both confidence in the responses and the informativeness of the present clues correlated positively with the number of responses given in line with an exclusive consideration of present features. These results were mostly independent of both the rarity of the absent clues and the presentation format. We concluded that the feature-positive effect influences hypothesis evaluation, and we discussed the implications for confirmation bias.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Cherubini, PUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rusconi, PUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Russo, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Crippa, FUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : May 2013
Identification Number : 10.1007/s00426-012-0430-3
Uncontrolled Keywords : Adult, Female, Humans, Judgment, Male, Perception, Probability, Young Adult
Related URLs :
Additional Information : The original publication is available at http://www.springerlink.com
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 18 Jun 2014 07:48
Last Modified : 13 Sep 2014 01:34
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/804773

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