Cognitive Sophistication Does Not Attenuate the Bias Blind Spot
ABSTRACT The so-called bias blind spot arises when people report that thinking biases are more prevalent in others than in themselves. Bias turns out to be relatively easy to recognize in the behaviors of others, but often difficult to detect in one's own judgments. Most previous research on the bias blind spot has focused on bias in the social domain. In 2 studies, we found replicable bias blind spots with respect to many of the classic cognitive biases studied in the heuristics and biases literature (e.g., Tversky & Kahneman, 1974). Further, we found that none of these bias blind spots were attenuated by measures of cognitive sophistication such as cognitive ability or thinking dispositions related to bias. If anything, a larger bias blind spot was associated with higher cognitive ability. Additional analyses indicated that being free of the bias blind spot does not help a person avoid the actual classic cognitive biases. We discuss these findings in terms of a generic dual-process theory of cognition.
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ABSTRACT: Public policy decisions often appear based on an assumption that providing more options, more information, and greater decision-making autonomy to consumers will produce better outcomes. We examine reasons why this "more-is-better" approach exists based on the psychological literature. Although better outcomes can result from informed consumer choice, we argue that more options, information, and autonomy can also lead to unintended negative consequences. We use mostly health-related policies and guidelines from the United States and elsewhere as exemplars. We consider various psychological mechanisms that cause these unintended consequences including cognitive overload, affect, and anticipated regret, information salience and availability, and trust in governments as authoritative information providers. We also point toward potential solutions based on psychological research that may reduce the negative unintended consequences of a "more-is-better" approach.Social Issues and Policy Review 01/2013; 7(1):114-148. DOI:10.1111/j.1751-2409.2012.01045.x
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ABSTRACT: Once a matter of safety and survival, loyalty is a moral principle deeply rooted in human evolution—one that may wield a profound influence on ethical judgment and conceptions of just punishment. Consumers live in a complex Web of loyalty obligations woven through affiliations with marketers, fellow consumers, and other groups. This article examines how such affiliations shape consumers’ judgments of ethically controversial marketing conduct and preferences for punishment. In general, the more unethical an act is judged to be, the more severe the preferred punishment. However, the findings show that although consumers judge a controversial marketing act as more unethical when an in-group member targets the consumer’s in-group (vs. out-group), a more lenient punishment is preferred (Study 1). Additionally, the extent to which one embraces loyalty as a moral value appears to mediate the relationship between group affiliations and preferred punishment (Study 2). This is a bias participants deny having, but believe others exhibit. This research finds evidence of loyalty to the principle of loyalty itself. A person will view an out-group member transgressing a member from that same out-group with disdain similar to that accorded an in-group member who transgresses the in-group, because the innate badness of the act is compounded by the stigma of disloyalty.Psychology and Marketing 03/2013; 30(3):203-210. DOI:10.1002/mar.20598 · 1.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The emotional value of placing in a given percentile of a competition (e.g., placing in the "top 10%") depends on how many competitors are involved. Five studies reveal that winning among larger groups is associated with more positive emotional reactions than winning among smaller groups, even when the objective chances for success are held constant. Participants thought that a runner would feel happier after placing in the top 10% in a race with many (vs. few) competitors (Experiment 1); participants who imagined placing in the top 10% of a trivia quiz predicted that they would feel happier after succeeding among many (vs. few) respondents (Experiment 2); and participants who were given randomly assigned false feedback that they placed in the top 10% of a real creativity challenge actually felt happier when the pool was described as containing many (vs. few) contestants (Experiment 3). This effect appears to be driven by participants' intuitions about the statistical law of large numbers: when people think about success among large pools, they infer that the outcome is more diagnostic of "true" abilities-that the performance must not be a fluke-compared with identical success among small pools, which provides an affective boost (Experiments 4-5). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).Emotion 04/2013; 13(3). DOI:10.1037/a0032041 · 3.88 Impact Factor