Laura Macchi

Laura Macchi
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca | UNIMIB · Department of Psychology

About

47
Publications
9,146
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872
Citations
Citations since 2016
17 Research Items
336 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
This paper explores the effect of different types of incubation task (visual, numerical and verbal) with various levels of attentional focus and cognitive effort (non-demanding, low-demanding and high-demanding) on the resolution of insight problems. The most effective was found to be the low-demanding task (regardless of its nature), which althoug...
Article
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The risky choice framing effect disclosed that presenting data in a loss scenario lead decision-makers towards risky choices. Conversely, a gain scenario prevents them from taking a risk. Framing effect robustness has been widely confirmed by psychological literature. However, the framing of medical treatments, based on McNeil et al. (1982) paradig...
Article
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This study aims at identifying the tools necessary for COVID-19 health emergency management, with particular reference to the period following the first lockdown, a crucial phase in which it was important to favour the maintenance of protective behaviours. It also aims at identifying the messages and sources that were most effective in managing com...
Article
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Solving or attempting to solve problems is the typical and, hence, general function of thought. A theory of problem solving must first explain how the problem is constituted, and then how the solution happens, but also how it happens that it is not solved; it must explain the correct answer and with the same means the failure. The identification of...
Article
Psychology of communication must do everything is possible to promote an adequate perception of risk. This is particularly true when it comes to transmitting statistical and probabilistic data to an audience of non-experts, inevitably conditioning their perception of risk. Data are all available, but subjects are able to understand them in the spec...
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Deductive and logical reasoning is a crucial topic for cognitive psychology and has largely been investigated in adults, concluding that humans are apparently irrational. Yet, from a pragmatic approach, the logical level of meaning is only one of possible communicative interpretations, and the least likely to be assigned if the intent of the task i...
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The “Wason selection task” is still one of the most studied tasks in cognitive psychology. We argue that the low performance originally obtained seems to be caused by how the information of the task is presented. By systematically manipulating the task instructions, making explicit the information that participants are required to infer in accordan...
Article
Macchi and Bagassi propose a conception of mind bounded by the qualitative constraint of relevance at conscious and unconscious levels. The core of this conception is an interpretative function in language and thought as adaptive characteristic of the human cognitive system. This perspective is supported by evidence from the authors' research on in...
Chapter
Several studies have been interested in explaining which processes underlie the solution of insight problems. Our contribution analyses and compares the main theories on this topic, focusing on two contrasting perspectives: the business-as-usual view (conscious and analytical processes) and the special process view (unconscious automatic associatio...
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The previous research attempts to reduce the influence of the belief bias on deductive thinking have often been unsuccessful and, when they succeeded, they failed to replicate. In this paper, we propose a new way to see an old problem. Instead of considering the analytical abilities of the respondent, we focus on the communicative characteristics o...
Article
The search for meaning, in view of an objective, characterizes every activity of the human cognitive system at all levels: perception, language, reasoning. The interpretative function is a characteristic inherent to all reasoning processes and is an adaptive characteristic of the human cognitive system in general. Then, we do agree with the authors...
Article
In the present article we discuss the cognitive processes involved in risk assessment contexts, with reference to empirical researches (medical risk assessment, framing effect, disjunctive effect). In this respect, it will be shown that contextual and communicative factors help to determine the risk perception, as well as the direction of decision...
Book
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This volume contributes to a current debate within the psychology of thought that has wide implications for our ideas about creativity, decision making, and economic behavior. The essays focus on the role of implicit, unconscious thinking in creativity and problem solving, the interaction of intuition and analytic thinking, and the relationship bet...
Article
In recent years there has been an upsurge of research aimed at removing the mystery from insight and creative problem solving. The present special issue reflects this expanding field. Overall the papers gathered here converge on a nuanced view of insight and creative thinking as arising from multiple processes that can yield surprising solutions th...
Article
In our view, the way of thinking involved in insight problem solving is very close to the process involved in the understanding of an utterance, when a misunderstanding occurs. In this case, a more appropriate meaning has to be selected to resolve the misunderstanding (the “impasse”), the default interpretation (the “fixation”) has to be dropped in...
Article
The study of insight problem solving could well become one of the most important topics in the contemporary debate on thought. Dealing with insight problems today requires of necessity reconsidering the concept of bounded rationality. Simon’s work has inspired us to reflect on the specific quality of the type of boundaries which, by limiting the se...
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The ratio-bias (RB) phenomenon is considered to provide systematic evidence of irrationality. When judging the probability of a low-probability event, many people judge it as less likely when it is expressed as a ratio of small numbers (e.g. 1-in-10) than when it is expressed as a ratio of large numbers (e.g. 10-in-100). Following a methodological...
Article
Language and thought share a unitary cognitive activity, addressed by an interpretative function. This interpretative effort reveals the assonance between the attribution of meaning to an utterance and the discovery of a solution via restructuring in insight problem solving. We suggest a view of complex integrated analytical thinking, which assumes...
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This paper presents the results of a study designed to investigate the pseudodiagnosticity bias as a failure to identify and select diagnostically relevant information. The reported experiment (N = 240) aims to deepen understanding of the role played by the rarity of evidential features in a classical pseudodiagnos-ticity task. The problem used for...
Article
Newell, Mitchell, and Hayes (NMH) conduct three experiments designed to test whether exemplar cuing (EC) theory or a statistical format theory provides a more accurate account for how people make judgments about low-probability events. They report finding support for the statistical format theory and little or no support for EC. However, NMH missta...
Article
In recent literature there is unanimous agreement about children's pragmatic competence in drawing scalar implicatures about some, if the task is made easy enough. However, children accept infelicitous some sentences more often than adults do. In general their acceptance is assumed to be synonymous with a logical interpretation of some as a quantif...
Article
Full-text available
The disjunction effect (Tversky and Shafir in Psychol Sci 3:305–309, 1992) occurs when decision makers prefer option x (versus y) when knowing that event A occurs and also when knowing that event A does not occur, but they refuse x (or prefer y) when not knowing whether or not A occurs. This form of incoherence violates Savage’s (Cognition 57:31–95...
Article
The formulation of the conditional probability in classical tasks does not guarantee the effective transmission of the independence of the hit rate from the base rate. In these kinds of tasks, data are all available, but subjects are able to understand them in the specific meanings proper to a specialized language only if these are adequately trans...
Article
Full-text available
The disjunction effect (Tversky & Shafir, 199222. Tversky , A. and Shafir , E. 1992 . The disjunction effect in choice under uncertainty . Psychological Science , 3 : 305 – 309 . [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]View all references) occurs when decision makers prefer option x (versus y) when knowing that event A occurs and also when knowing that event...
Chapter
IntroductionA Pragmatics Perspective: The Partitive HypothesisNon-partitive Formulations As the Origin of the Confusion of Conditional ProbabilitiesAn Experimental Comparison between Partitive and Non-partitive Texts with Different Probabilistic FormatsConsiderations on Frequency Format and Natural SamplingOn the Complementarity of Conditional Prob...
Book
The first international handbook to bring the areas of reasoning, judgment and decision making together, now in paperback format. The book brings three of the important topics of thinking together - reasoning, judgment and decision making a?? and discusses key issues in each area. The studies described range from those that are purely laboratory ba...
Article
The way people respond to the chance that an unlikely event will occur depends on how the event is described. We propose that people attach more weight to unlikely events when they can easily generate or imagine examples in which the event has occurred or will occur than when they cannot. We tested this idea in two experiments with mock jurors usin...
Article
We here report the findings of our investigation into the validity of the “conjunction fallacy” (Tversky & Kahneman, 1983), bearing in mind the role of conversational rules. Our first experiment showed that subjects found a logically correct answer unacceptable when it implied a violation of the conversational rules. We argue that tautological que...
Chapter
The systematic empirical study of judgement and decision making did not begin to emerge as a discipline in its own right until the 1960s, when there was an upsurge of interest in the broader and more general field of cognitive psychology that includes memory, thinking, problem solving, mental imagery and language.
Article
Full-text available
I propose a simple theory on the use of base rate according to which neither heuristic nor frequentist factors underlie demonstrations of the occurrence or the elimination of the base-rate fallacy. According to this view, what is crucial for the occurrence or elimination of the base-rate fallacy is the absence or presence, respectively, of what can...
Article
Full-text available
Language pragmatics is applied to analyse problem statements and instructions used in a few influential experimental tasks in the psychology of reasoning. This analysis aims to determine the interpretation of the task which the participant is likely to construct. It is applied to studies of deduction (where the interpretation of quantifiers and con...
Article
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A familiar adage in the philosophy of science is that general hypotheses are better supported by varied evidence than by uniform evidence. Several studies suggest that young children do not respect this principle, and thus su#er from a defect in their inductive methodology. We argue that the diversity principle does not have the normative status th...
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We formulate a simple theory of deductive reasoning based on mental models. One prediction of the theory is experimentally tested and found to be incorrect. The bearing of our results on contemporary theories of mental models is discussed. We then consider a potential objection to current rule-theories of deduction. Such theories picture deductive...
Article
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Recent studies have demonstrated subadditivity of human probability judgment: The judged probabilities for an event partition sum to more than 1. We report conditions under which people's probability judgments are superadditive instead: The component judgments for a partition sum to less than 1. Both directions of deviation from additivity are inte...
Article
Wide-ranging reviews have been made of heuristic and bias findings from the frequentist and pragmatic points of view. We show that extraneous task features (computational simplification), which have nothing to do with the frequentist explanation, are responsible for the increase in the number of Bayesian answers obtained using frequentist versions...
Article
Most tasks used to demonstrate the base rate fallacy are ambiguous about the independence of the data. The removal of such ambiguities from the texts (by means of a clear reference class for the probabilities) is a necessary condition and has a considerable effect on the use of the base rate in classical probabilistic tasks. Some comments are...
Article
An investigation was made of the role played by verbal structure in the problems used to study the base-rate fallacy, which has traditionally been attributed to the role of heuristics (e.g. causality, specificity). It was hypothesized that elements of the verbal form of text problems led to a misunderstanding of the question or the specific informa...

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