Klaus Fiedler

Klaus Fiedler
Universität Heidelberg · Institute of Psychology

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236
Publications
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10,246
Citations

Publications

Publications (236)
Article
In hindsight, when the outcome of an uncertain scenario is already known, we typically feel that this outcome was always likely; hindsight judgments of outcome probabilities exceed foresight judgments of the same probabilities without outcome knowledge. We extend prior accounts of hindsight bias with the influence of pragmatic communication inheren...
Chapter
In cognitive psychology, those who behave in a particularly rational manner are considered intelligent. First, we briefly introduce the psychology of judgment and decision-making, which has played a key role in theorizing and empirical investigation of cognitive research for decades. We then give an impression of the pessimistic view of the rationa...
Article
Consistent with sampling theories in judgment and decision research, impression judgments depend on the number of traits drawn randomly from a population of target person traits in distinct ways. When sample size is determined externally by the experimenter, the sensitivity of resulting impression judgments to the prevailing (positive or negative)...
Article
Full-text available
The current debate about how to improve the quality of psychological science revolves, almost exclusively, around the subordinate level of statistical significance testing. In contrast, research design and strict theorizing, which are superordinate to statistics in the methods hierarchy, are sorely neglected. The present article is devoted to the k...
Article
In the current article, we test the prediction that an initial bias favoring 1 of 2 equally rewarding options—either based on a genuine contingency or a pseudocontingency in a small sample of initial observations—can survive over an extended period of further sampling from both options, when the reward structure fosters exploitation. Specifically,...
Article
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The present research demonstrates a so far unrecognized impediment of group performance, metacognitive myopia (Fiedler, 2012). Judges and decision‐makers follow the given samples of information uncritically and neglect the metacognitive assessment of the samples' validity. Applying this notion to dyadic judgments, we instructed dyads to jointly est...
Article
Going beyond the origins of cognitive biases, which have been the focus of continued research, the notion of metacognitive myopia refers to the failure to monitor, control, and correct for biased inferences at the metacognitive level. Judgments often follow the given information uncritically, even when it is easy to find out or explicitly explained...
Article
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A major module of rational advice taking consists in the metacognitive ability to distinguish between credible advice and arbitrary anchors. Accordingly, we investigated the extent to which framing the very same information as either advice or anchor exerts a differential influence on quantitative judgments. Four experiments showed that although ar...
Article
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Previous research on advice taking has explained the failure to exploit collective wisdom in terms of the egocentric underweighting of advice provided by independent others. The present research is concerned with an opposite and more radical source of irrational advice taking, namely, the failure to critically assess the validity of advice due to m...
Article
Impression formation is a basic module of fundamental research in social cognition, with broad implications for applied research on interpersonal relations, social attitudes, employee selection, and person judgments in legal and political context. Drawing on a pool of 28 predominantly positive traits used in Solomon Asch’s (1946) seminal impression...
Article
Scientific progress relies on the dialectics of loosening and tightening processes. Although most gripping accomplishments in psychological science testify to the critical role of creative and innovative theorizing (loosening), the ongoing debate on the quality of psychological science is focused almost totally on a restrictive sense of tightening,...
Article
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The failure to exploit collective wisdom is evident in the conspicuous difficulty to solve hidden-profile tasks. While previous accounts focus on group-dynamics and motivational biases, the present research applies a metacognitive perspective to an ordinary learning approach. Assuming that evaluative learning is sensitive to the frequency with whic...
Article
Recent attempts to improve on the quality of psychological research focus on good practices required for statistical significance testing. The scrutiny of theoretical reasoning, though superordinate, is largely neglected, as exemplified here in a common misunderstanding of mediation analysis. Although a test of a mediation model X ➔ Z ➔ Y is condit...
Article
The Open Science Collaboration’s 2015 Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349, aac4716. doi:10.1126/science.aac4716[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar] report suggests that replication effect sizes in psychology are modest. However, closer inspection reveals seri...
Article
There is wide consensus that replication affords an important instrument for identifying valid findings and solid research approaches. However, if replication research serves a major scientific function, then it must be evaluated in terms of strict methodological rules and clearly articulated scientific criteria. A critical analysis of contemporary...
Book
Social cognition is a key area of social psychology, which focuses on cognitive processes that are involved when individuals make sense of, and navigate in their social world. For instance, individuals need to understand what they perceive, they learn and recall information from memory, they form judgments and decisions, they communicate with other...
Poster
The current structure of psychological research may enhance the tendency that priming effects are usually not published until the expected effects appear. At the same time task formulation can strongly affect the pattern of priming effects. Considering this possibility is able to explain certain unexpected results of prior experiments. In a first s...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the reverse perspective of false negatives, that is, the failure to find confirmatory evidence for a hypothesis that is actually true. The terms “false positive” and “false negative” belong to a statistical decision theory. The chapter talks about dialectics of allegedly correct and wrong decisions in statistical hypothesis...
Article
We introduce a heuristic called pseudocontingencies (PCs) as an alternative account of various stereotyping phenomena. PCs give rise to the expectation that attributes are correlated based solely on asymmetries in attribute base rates. Attributes that are encountered frequently and attributes that are encountered rarely are perceived to be correlat...
Article
A Bayesian perspective on Ioannidis’s (2005) memorable statement that “Most Published Research Findings Are False” suggests a seemingly inescapable trade-off: It appears as if research hypotheses are based either on safe ground (high prior odds), yielding valid but unsurprising results, or on unexpected and novel ideas (low prior odds), inspiring r...
Article
Full-text available
To understand the impact of social cognition on behavior, it is essential to understand how attitudes are acquired, updated, and mapped onto judgments, decisions, and actions. Evaluative conditioning (EC) affords an experimental model of a particular procedural notion of attitude acquisition and change. The present editorial offers an overview of p...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluative conditioning (EC) refers to changes in the evaluation of conditional stimuli (CSs; e.g., neutral faces) due to their repeated pairing with unconditional stimuli of positive or negative valence (USs; e.g., likeable or unlikeable faces). The standard EC finding is an assimilation effect; CS evaluations change in direction of US valence. In...
Article
We explored the dynamics of choice behavior while the values of the options changed, unannounced, several times. In particular, choice dynamics were compared when the outcome values of all available options were known (full feedback) and when the outcome value of only the chosen option was known (partial feedback). The frequency of change, the valu...
Article
The current discussion of questionable research practices (QRPs) is meant to improve the quality of science. It is, however, important to conduct QRP studies with the same scrutiny as all research. We note problems with overestimates of QRP prevalence and the survey methods used in the frequently cited study by John, Loewenstein, and Prelec. In a s...
Article
In evaluative priming, positive or negative primes facilitate reactions to targets that share the same valence. While this effect is commonly explained as reflecting invariant structures in semantic long-term memory or in the sensorimotor system, the present research highlights the role of integrativity in evaluative priming. Integrativity refers t...
Chapter
Sampling approaches to judgment and decision making highlight the insight to understand the cognitive processes within the decision maker. The theoretical role of sampling approaches is to highlight alternative explanations of allegedly intra-psychic phenomena in terms of extra-psychic, environmental conditions. This chapter presents an overview of...
Article
A growing body of research challenges the automaticity of evaluative priming (EP). The present research adds to this literature by suggesting that EP is sensitive to processing styles. We relied on previous research showing that EP is determined by the extent to which the prime and the target events on a given trial are processed as a unified compo...
Article
Detecting changes, in performance, sales, markets, risks, social relations, or public opinions, constitutes an important adaptive function. In a sequential paradigm devised to investigate detection of change, every trial provides a sample of binary outcomes (e.g., correct vs. incorrect student responses). Participants have to decide whether the pro...
Article
Full-text available
Many decisions in the lives of animals and humans require a fine balance between the exploration of different options and the exploitation of their rewards. Do you buy the advertised car, or do you test drive different models? Do you continue feeding from the current patch of flowers, or do you fly off to another one? Do you marry your current part...
Article
Statistical tests of indirect effects can hardly distinguish between genuine and spurious mediation effects. The present research demonstrates, however, that mediation analysis can be improved by combining a significance test of the indirect effect with assessing the fit of causal models. Testing only the indirect effect can be misleading, because...
Article
Drawing on illustrative examples of the functional and cognitive psychology in contemporary research, the present article emphasizes the primacy of functional relationships, which provide the fundament for all attempts to uncover invisible cognitive processes. Cognitive research is not only inherently more difficult and much more ambitious than fun...
Article
In the present research we elaborate on an ecological account (Fiedler, Jung, Wänke & Alexopoulos, 2012) for the unitary distance dimension postulated in construal-level theory, highlighting linguistic influences on distance regulation. We first replicate that distinct action verbs solicit similarly distant or close episodes in many judges, produci...
Chapter
Full-text available
Provided the present perspective on heuristics-and-biases research is not fully inappropriate, the main conclusion is that the huge impact of Kahneman and Tversky’s work is not due to the accrual of confirmatory evidence but, ironically, to its imperfectness and the persistent failure to clearly define and thus perhaps to falsify and discard the or...
Article
Social psychology is facing a major developmental task, which is not primarily one of achieving larger data samples and stricter significance testing. What is needed, rather, is an improvement in logic of science and powerful theorizing. The starting point of this article is a critical appraisal that the intrapsychic concepts (motives, attitudes, a...
Article
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In the context of research on human judgment, regression is commonly treated as an artifact or an unwanted consequence of ill-controlled research designs. We argue that this negative image is undeserved. Regression affords not only an enlightening statistical construct but also a theoretical construct that can inspire novel research. It offers alte...
Article
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The investigation of evaluative conditioning (EC) has been mainly concerned with the conditioning of individual stimuli. Namely, a specific conditioned stimulus (CS) is paired with a positive or negative unconditioned stimulus and consequently acquires the valence of the unconditioned stimulus. In the present article, we expand the notion of EC to...
Article
Research and theorizing suggest a processing advantage of category-level correlations over exemplar-level correlations. That research has also shown that category-level correlations serve as a proxy for inferring exemplar-level correlations. For example, an individual may learn that the demand for a product category, like cheese, in one store predi...
Article
When common and rare attributes are equally prevalent for frequent and infrequent categories, the frequent categories (e.g., majority groups) are associated more strongly with the common attributes (e.g., positive valence) than infrequent categories (e.g., minority groups). Such a frequency-based illusory correlation (IC) effect has been shown to a...
Chapter
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Article
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The present research suggests that people adjust their mental response scales to an object's distance and construal level. People make use of wider response categories when they judge distant and abstract as compared with close and concrete stimuli. Across five experiments, participants worked on visual and verbal estimation problems (e.g., length...
Article
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The influence of judges' behaviors on procedural justice was analyzed in a field study, observing the judges' behaviors during n = 129 trials and assessing the defendants and the audiences' justice perceptions. The observed judicial behavior was unrelated to the defendants' justice perceptions. However, the more respectful the judge treated the def...
Article
We studied repeated choices under uncertainty in situations in which the source of uncertainty is the choice of an interaction partner. In 1 experiment the participants engaged in repeated decisions in a mixed motive game; in another experiment the options and outcomes were identical to those in the 1st, but periods of the mixed-motive game alterna...
Article
According to sampling theories of attitude formation, evaluative learning depends on the sampling in the environment. We investigated teachers’ student evaluations in a simulated school class. Two experiments were designed to test distinct implications of experience-sampling models. While the model advanced by Fazio, Eiser, and Shook (2004) and Den...
Article
When assessing causal impact, individuals have to consider two pieces of information: the magnitude of the cause that resulted in an effect, and the magnitude of the resulting effect. In the present research, participants judged the causal impact of cause-effect relationships in which the magnitude of causes and effects varied independently. Partic...
Article
Recent studies have indicated that research practices in psychology may be susceptible to factors that increase false-positive rates, raising concerns about the possible prevalence of false-positive findings. The present article discusses several practices that may run counter to the inflation of false-positive rates. Taking these practices into ac...
Article
The ability to extract statistical contingencies (e.g., between cause and effect, between response and feedback) is commonly presupposed as a basic module of adaptive behavior. In reality, however, stimulus input rarely contains the complete sets of correlated attributes required to assess the actual contingencies. Instead, cognitive inferences oft...
Article
If one social group occurs more often than another, and one attribute level occurs more often than another, an inference is drawn linking majority- group members with frequent attribute levels. According to the pseudo- contingency framework, such illusory stereotypes reflect the perception of attribute base rates increasing or decreasing together w...
Article
Full-text available
Pseudocontingencies (PCs) allow for inferences about the contingency between two variables X and Y when the conditions for genuine contingency assessment are not met. Even when joint observations X i and Y i about the same reference objects i are not available or are detached in time or space, the correlation r(X i ,Y i ) is readily inferred from b...
Article
In a recently published major article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Daryl Bem (2011) made a strong claim for the existence of a parapsychological phenomenon called retroactive causation. Across nine experiments, aspects of stimuli were shown to correlate with participants’ responses provided before the stimuli were generated...
Article
Are people more likely to engage in critical thinking when assessing others' reasoning? And does this reasoning enhancement reflect their belief that others are more likely to be biased than themselves (the bias blind spot, BBS)? In three studies, participants who displayed BBS were better able to detect reasoning biases and performed better in rea...
Article
Replicability of findings is at the heart of any empirical science. The aim of this article is to move the current replicability debate in psychology towards concrete recommendations for improvement. We focus on research practices but also offer guidelines for reviewers, editors, journal management, teachers, granting institutions, and university p...
Article
The main goal of our target article was to provide concrete recommendations for improving the replicability of research findings. Most of the comments focus on this point. In addition, a few comments were concerned with the distinction between replicability and generalizability and the role of theory in replication. We address all comments within t...
Chapter
What I have come to call "meta-cognitive myopia" (MM), using a term once suggested by Robyn Dawes, is the phenomenon that people are pretty accurate in utilizing even large amounts of stimulus information, whereas they are naive and almost blind regarding the history and validity of the stimulus data. This uncritical reliance on the information giv...
Article
The purpose of the present chapter is to consider social rationality from the perspective of social psychology. According to the dual-process approaches that dominate contemporary social psychology, rationality is only possible in the systematic processing mode, whereas the heuristic processing mode is considered intrinsically flawed, in contrast t...
Article
Several influential publications have sensitized the community of behavioral scientists to the dangers of inflated effects and false-positive errors leading to the unwarranted publication of nonreplicable findings. This issue has been related to prominent cases of data fabrication and survey results pointing to bad practices in empirical science. A...
Article
Construal-level theory's basic assumption of a positive relationship between psychological distance and abstractness of mental representations presupposes a unitary distance construct. Although prior research testifies to convergent influences of temporal, spatial, social and reality (probability) distance, there is no direct evidence for the integ...
Article
In the present research, we argue that open versus closed mindsets, accompanying ongoing versus completed mental jobs on the prime, determine the size of congruity effects in the evaluative priming paradigm. More specifically, we hypothesised that disfluent primes that resist an easily completed encoding process should induce an open mindset and th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Standard logic and probability theory are both beset with fundamental problems if used as adequacy criteria for relating logical propositions to learning data. We discuss the problems of exception, of sample size, and of inclusion. Bayesian pattern logic (‘Bayesian logic’ or BL for short) has been proposed as a possible rational resolution of these...
Article
The present article is concerned with a common misunderstanding in the interpretation of statistical mediation analyses. These procedures can be sensibly used to examine the degree to which a third variable (Z) accounts for the influence of an independent (X) on a dependent variable (Y) conditional on the assumption that Z actually is a mediator. H...
Article
In their comment, Evans and Buehner (2011) maintained that Fiedler and Kareev's (2006) conclusion that decision quality does not always increase with the size of information sample is wrong in every respect. They claimed, first, that the decision model proposed by Fiedler and Kareev is normatively incorrect and is not supported by earlier findings;...
Article
On the basis of earlier findings, we (Fiedler & Kareev, 2006) presented a statistical decision model that explains the conditions under which small samples of information about choice alternatives inform more correct choices than large samples. Such a small-sample advantage (SSA) is predicted for choices, not estimations. It is contingent on high c...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluative conditioning (EC) is commonly conceived as stimulus-driven associative learning. Here, we show that internally generated encoding activities mediate EC effects: Neutral conditioned stimuli (CS) faces were paired with positive and negative unconditioned stimuli (US) faces. Depending on the encoding task (Is CS a friend vs. enemy of US?),...
Article
Full-text available
In the present research, we argue for the robustness of illusory correlations (ICs, Hamilton & Gifford, 1976) regarding two boundary conditions suggested in previous research. First, we argue that ICs are maintained under extended experience. Using simulations, we derive conflicting predictions. Whereas noise-based accounts predict ICs to be mainta...
Article
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Fiedler et al. (2009), reviewed evidence for the utilization of a contingency inference strategy termed pseudocontingencies (PCs). In PCs, the more frequent levels (and, by implication, the less frequent levels) are assumed to be associated. PCs have been obtained using a wide range of task settings and dependent measures. Yet, the readiness with w...
Article
Full-text available
An adaptive cognition approach to evaluative priming is not compatible with the view that the entire process is automatically determined by prime stimulus valence alone. In addition to the evaluative congruity of individual prime-target pairs, an adaptive regulation function should be sensitive to the base rates of positive and negative stimuli as...
Article
A recent set of articles in Perspectives on Psychological Science discussed inflated correlations between brain measures and behavioral criteria when measurement points (voxels) are deliberately selected to maximize criterion correlations (the target article was Vul, Harris, Winkielman, & Pashler, 2009). However, closer inspection reveals that this...
Article
Causal impact is maximal when weak causes have strong effects. Do people understand this logic when they assess causal impact? In four experiments, participants judged the causal impact of strong or weak dietary treatments leading to strong or weak health effects in fictitious health studies. Rather than following the ratio of effect strength to tr...
Article
Full-text available
Three experiments investigate illusory correlations in a feedback learning paradigm. Diverging from a standard paradigm, in which stimuli consist of joint observations of group-behaviour pairs, participants were asked to guess the group reference of positive and negative stimulus behaviours. They only knew that one group was larger than the other,...
Article
The attractiveness of lotteries that vary in p (probability) and o (outcome) depends on the presentation mode of p and o information. Extending previous findings on temporally experienced p, we manipulate the numerically stated versus spatially experienced format of both p (graphical presentation of a distribution of lottery tickets in an urn) and...
Article
Different adaptive styles characterize cognition and behavior in different affective states. Whereas negative affect supports accommodation (i.e., stimulus-driven bottom-up processing), positive affect supports assimilation (i.e., self-determined top-down processing). Applying this well-established rule to binary choices after self-truncated inform...
Article
Full-text available
If priming effects serve an adaptive function, they have to be both robust and flexible. In four experiments, we demonstrated regular evaluative-priming effects for relatively long stimulus-onset asynchronies, which can, however, be eliminated or reversed strategically. When participants responded to both primes and targets, rather than only to tar...