Jonathan A Fugelsang

Jonathan A Fugelsang
University of Waterloo | UWaterloo · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

144
Publications
122,100
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5,977
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Publications

Publications (144)
Article
Full-text available
In the domain of scratch card gambling, “pushes” refer to outcomes in which a prize is won that is equal to the cost of a scratch card game. Despite resulting in no net monetary gain, these outcomes are categorized as wins by lottery operators, effectively inflating published scratch card information (e.g., posted odds of winning). Additionally, th...
Article
The Keats heuristic suggests that people find esthetically pleasing expressions more accurate than mundane expressions. We test this notion with chiastic statements. Chiasmus is a stylistic phenomenon in which at least two linguistic constituents are repeated in reverse order, conventionally represented by the formula A-B-B-A. Our study focuses on...
Article
Full-text available
A consistent finding reported in the literature is that epistemically suspect beliefs (e.g., paranormal beliefs) are less frequently endorsed by individuals with a greater tendency to think analytically. However, these results have been observed predominantly in Western participants. In the present work, we explore various individual differences kn...
Preprint
Full-text available
Past work has demonstrated that presenting statistical information in a foreground-background icon array can improve risk understanding, reduce decision-making biases, and decrease the salience of low-probability risks. In the present study, we assess whether presenting readily available gambling information within a foreground-background icon arra...
Article
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health guidance (e.g., regarding the use of non-medical masks) changed over time. Although many revisions were a result of gains in scientific understanding, we nonetheless hypothesized that making changes in guidance salient would negatively affect evaluations of experts and health-protective intentions. In Stu...
Article
Full-text available
Across six studies (N = 1988 US residents and 81 traditional people of Papua), participants judged agents acting in sacrificial moral dilemmas. Utilitarian agents, described as opting to sacrifice a single individual for the greater good, were perceived as less predictable and less moral than deontological agents whose inaction resulted in five peo...
Article
Full-text available
Across six studies (N = 2646), we demonstrate the role that perceptions of predictability play in judgments of moral character, finding that people demonstrate a moral preference for more predictable immoral actors. Participants judged agents performing an immoral action (e.g., assault) for an unintelligible reason as less predictable and less mora...
Article
Evil supernatural beings are often depicted as responding to unintended requests, whereas this may be less common in representations of good supernatural beings. This asymmetry suggests that people may expect good and evil agents to differ in their sensitivity to other people's intentions. We investigated this proposal across five experiments on 22...
Data
Across six studies (N = 2646), we demonstrate the role that perceptions of predictability play in judgments of moral character, finding that people demonstrate a moral preference for more predictable immoral actors. Participants judged agents performing an immoral action (e.g., assault) for an unintelligible reason as less predictable and less mora...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Despite autonomous vehicles (AVs) being safer than human drivers, people are averse to their presence on roads. Across three studies (N = 4,014), we examined peoples' perceptions of human drivers and AVs acting within a moral dilemma. Scenarios involved an out-of-control vehicle (piloted by a human, or autonomously) that could stay on its present c...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the domain of scratch card gambling, “pushes” refer to outcomes in which a prize is won that is equal to the cost of a scratch card game. Despite resulting in no net monetary gain, these outcomes are categorized as wins by lottery operators, effectively inflating published scratch card information (e.g., posted odds of winning). Additionally, th...
Article
Full-text available
Navigating social systems efficiently is critical to our species. Humans appear endowed with a cognitive system that has formed to meet the unique challenges that emerge for highly social species. Bullshitting, communication characterised by an intent to be convincing or impressive without concern for truth, is ubiquitous within human societies. Ac...
Article
Full-text available
The present work (N = 1906 U.S. residents) investigates the extent to which peoples' evaluations of actions can be biased by the strategic use of euphemistic (agreeable) and dysphemistic (disagreeable) terms. We find that participants' evaluations of actions are made more favorable by replacing a disagreeable term (e.g., torture) with a semanticall...
Article
Full-text available
Research into both receptivity to falling for bullshit and the propensity to produce it have recently emerged as active, independent areas of inquiry into the spread of misleading information. However, it remains unclear whether those who frequently produce bullshit are inoculated from its influence. For example, both bullshit receptivity and bulls...
Article
Full-text available
While they usually should, people do not revise their beliefs more to expert (economist) opinion than to lay opinion. The present research sought to better understand the factors that make it more likely for an individual to change their mind when faced with the opinions of expert economists versus the general public. Across five studies we examine...
Preprint
Full-text available
The present work (N = 1,906 U.S. residents) investigates the extent to which peoples’ evaluations of actions can be biased by the strategic use of euphemistic (agreeable) and dysphemistic (disagreeable) terms. We find that participants’ evaluations of actions are made more favorable by replacing a disagreeable term (e.g., torture) with a semantical...
Article
Previous research suggests that intuitively appealing, yet uninformative unclaimed prize information is capable of biasing gambling-related judgments when people compare scratch cards that vary in the number of unclaimed prizes. However, it is unknown if the mere presence of unclaimed prize information alters a game’s attractiveness. Using an onlin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research into both receptivity to falling for bullshit and the propensity to produce it have recently emerged as active, independent areas of inquiry into the spread of misleading information. However, it remains unclear whether those who frequently produce bullshit are inoculated from its influence. For example, both bullshit receptivity and bulls...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Keats heuristic suggests that people find aesthetically pleasing expressions more accurate than mundane expressions. We test this notion with chiastic statements. Chiasmus is a stylistic phenomenon in which at least two linguistic constituents are repeated in reverse order, following an A-B-B-A pattern. Our study focuses on the specific form of...
Article
Full-text available
Using participants who have been previously exposed to experimental stimuli (referred to as non-naïveté) can reduce effect sizes. The workforce of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is particularly vulnerable to this problem and solutions are usually cost and time inefficient and of mixed effectiveness. In response to this problem and its currently underwhel...
Article
Full-text available
Previous work has demonstrated that peoples’ gambling-related judgments (e.g., perceived likelihood of winning) are often biased by non-diagnostic unclaimed prize information (i.e., the number of prizes still available to be won) resulting in non-optimal scratch card preferences. Another line of research suggests that people make less biased decisi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ability to navigate social systems efficiently is critical to our species. Humans appear endowed with a cognitive system that has at least partially formed to best meet the unique cognitive challenges that emerge in a highly social species. Bullshitting, a style of communication characterised by an intent to be convincing or impressive without...
Article
Full-text available
Recent psychological research has identified important individual differences associated with receptivity to bullshit, which has greatly enhanced our understanding of the processes behind susceptibility to pseudo‐profound or otherwise misleading information. However, the bulk of this research attention has focused on cognitive and dispositional fac...
Article
Full-text available
Across two experiments (N=799) we demonstrate that people’s use of quantitative information (e.g., base-rates) when making a judgment varies as the causal link of qualitative information (e.g., stereotypes) changes. That is, when a clear causal link for stereotypes is provided, people make judgments that are far more in line with them. When the cau...
Preprint
Full-text available
Across two experiments (N=799) we demonstrate that people’s use of quantitative information (e.g., base-rates) when making a judgment varies as the causal link of qualitative information (e.g., stereotypes) changes. That is, when a clear causal link for stereotypes is provided, people make judgments that are far more in line with them. When the cau...
Article
Full-text available
In four experiments, we explore the role that verbal WM plays in numerical comparison. Experiment 1 demonstrates that verbal WM load differentially impacts the two most common variants of numerical comparison tasks, evidenced by distinct modulation of the size of the numerical distance effect (NDE). Specifically, when comparing one Arabic digit to...
Article
Full-text available
Across four studies participants (N = 818) rated the profoundness of abstract art images accompanied with varying categories of titles, including: pseudo-profound bullshit titles (e.g., The Deaf Echo), mundane titles (e.g., Canvas 8), and no titles. Randomly generated pseudo-profound bullshit titles increased the perceived profoundness of computer-...
Article
Full-text available
When people have invested resources into an endeavor, they typically persist in it, even when it becomes obvious that it will fail. Here we show this bias extends to people’s moral decision-making. Across two preregistered experiments (N = 1592) we show that people are more willing to proceed with a futile, immoral action when costs have been sunk...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent psychological research has identified important individual differences associated with receptivity to bullshit, which has greatly enhanced our understanding of the processes behind susceptibility to pseudo-profound or otherwise misleading information. However, the bulk of this research attention has focused on cognitive and dispositional fac...
Article
Full-text available
The domain of gambling is rife with both diagnostic and non-diagnostic information. Previous studies examining scratch card gambling have demonstrated that people are often biased by intuitively appealing, yet non-diagnostic information (i.e., unclaimed prize information). The current study investigated how varying the presentation format of a diag...
Preprint
Full-text available
Across four studies participants (N = 818) rated the profoundness of abstract art images accompanied with varying categories of titles, including: pseudo-profound bullshit titles (e.g., The Deaf Echo), mundane titles (e.g., Canvas 8), and no titles. Randomly generated pseudo-profound bullshit titles increased the perceived profoundness of computer...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has revealed that intuitive confidence is an important predictor of how people choose between an intuitive and non-intuitive alternative when faced with information that opposes the intuitive response. In the current study, we investigated the speed of intuition generation as a predictor of intuitive confidence and participant cho...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has demonstrated a link between illusory pattern perception and various irrational beliefs. On this basis, we hypothesized that participants who displayed greater degrees of illusory pattern perception would also be more likely to rate pseudo-profound bullshit statements as profound. We find support for this prediction across thre...
Article
Full-text available
Wilkinson, Butcherine, and Savulescu propose that physicians’ greater reluctance to withdraw medical treatment than to withholding treatment reflects a novel cognitive bias, withdrawal aversion. Instead, we suggest that this aversion may largely be explained by a bias already known to judgment and decision-making researchers, namely the sunk cost f...
Article
Full-text available
Scratch cards are a popular form of lottery gambling available in many jurisdictions. However, there is a paucity of research that examines associations between individual differences in thinking style, participation in scratch card gambling, and problem gambling severity. In three studies, we sought to examine the relationships among these variab...
Article
Full-text available
Unclaimed prize information (i.e., the number of prizes still available to be won) is information commonly provided to scratch card gamblers. However, unless the number of tickets remaining to be purchased is also provided, this information is uninformative. Despite its lack of utility in assisting gamblers in choosing the most favourable type of s...
Article
Full-text available
Bilinguals who consider moral problems in their foreign language tend to endorse causing harm to others that if that leads to good outcomes more than they do in their native language. Čavar and Tytus (2018) reported that this effect disappears when the decision maker is highly acculturated. We challenge the latter conclusion. Specifically, the expe...
Article
Background and Aims Slot machines pose serious problems for a subset of gamblers. On multi‐line slots, many small credit returns are less than one's spin wager, resulting in a net loss to the player. These outcomes are called ‘losses disguised as wins’ (LDWs). We aimed to show that different proportions of LDWs could differentially affect gambling...
Article
Full-text available
The belief-bias effect is one of the most-studied biases in reasoning. A recent study of the phenomenon using the signal detection theory (SDT) model called into question all theoretical accounts of belief bias by demonstrating that belief-based differences in the ability to discriminate between valid and invalid syllogisms may be an artifact stemm...
Article
Full-text available
Multiline slot machines allow for a unique outcome type referred to as a loss disguised as a win (LDW). An LDW occurs when a player gains credits on a spin, but fewer credits than their original wager (e.g. 15-cent gain on a 20-cent wager). These outcomes alter the gambler's play experience by providing frequent, albeit smaller, credit gains throug...
Article
Full-text available
In modern casinos, multiline slot machines are becoming increasingly popular compared to traditional, three-reel slot machines. A paucity of research has examined how the unique presentation of near-misses and the use of a stop button in multiline slot machines impact erroneous cognitions related to the perception of skill and agency during play. O...
Article
Full-text available
Slot machines are available in several countries, with multiline games growing in popularity. Interestingly, many audiovisually reinforced small ‘wins’ in multiline games are in fact monetary losses – outcomes referred to as losses disguised as wins (LDWs). Research suggests that LDWs cause players to overestimate how many times they remember actua...
Article
Full-text available
The Dunning–Kruger effect refers to the observation that the incompetent are often ill-suited to recognize their incompetence. Here we investigated potential Dunning–Kruger effects in high-level reasoning and, in particular, focused on the relative effectiveness of metacognitive monitoring among particularly biased reasoners. Participants who made...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated whether the personal importance of objects influences utilitarian decision-making in which damaging property is necessary to produce an overall positive outcome. In Experiment 1, participants judged saving five objects by destroying a sixth object to be less acceptable when the action required destroying the sixth object directly (r...
Article
Full-text available
Individual differences in the mere willingness to think analytically has been shown to predict religious disbelief. Recently, however, it has been argued that analytic thinkers are not actually less religious; rather, the putative association may be a result of religiosity typically being measured after analytic thinking (an order effect). In light...
Data
Analysis of same-day/different-day participants. (DOCX)
Data
Results for thinking disposition scales. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
I raise a methodological concern regarding the study performed by Pennycook, Cheyne, Barr, Koehler and Fugelsang (2015), in which they used randomly generated, but syntactically correct, statements that were rated for profundity by subjects unaware of the source of the statements. The assessment of each statement’s profundity was not based on its i...
Article
Full-text available
We review recent evidence revealing that the mere willingness to engage analytic reasoning as a means to override intuitive “gut feelings” is a meaningful predictor of key psychological outcomes in diverse areas of everyday life. For example, those with a more analytic thinking style are more skeptical about religious, paranormal, and conspiratoria...