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Realismo e ilusión en los juicios de contingencia

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El grado de contingencia o covariación entre dos eventos es una información fundamental para que tanto las personas como los animales no humanos planifiquen sus acciones en el mundo, y por esa razón la naturaleza les ha dotado con herramientas para la percepción adecuada de esa información. Sin embargo, la investigación psicológica ha documentado algunos tipos de sesgos y errores sistemáticos en la elaboración de juicios de contingencia. La presente tesis pretende investigar algunos fenómenos relacionados con los errores sistemáticos cometidos por las personas en sus juicios acerca de la contingencia entre eventos. En primer lugar, dirigiremos nuestra atención hacia el fenómeno de la ilusión de control (percepción ilusoria de contingencia entre la conducta del sujeto y los eventos externos) y la influencia que sobre él mantienen variables como el nivel de actividad y el estado de ánimo. Después, profundizaremos en uno delos posibles mecanismos por los que estas variables afectan a la ilusión de control. A continuación, estudiaremos cómo las manipulaciones en la formulación de las preguntas utilizadas para obtener los juicios en los experimentos pueden también modificar dichos juicios de contingencia. En la última parte de la tesis, plantearemos una conexión empírica entre ambas líneas de investigación, comprobando cómo el nivel de actividad del participante podría afectar a los juicios de contingencia en interacción con la formulación de la pregunta empleada en el experimento.
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