Psych Week 6 Lectures and Ch. 7 and 8 Book notes
Psych Week 6 Lectures and Ch. 7 and 8 Book notes PSY 330
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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Melissa on Sunday February 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 330 at University of Oregon taught by Ted Bell in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Psy 330 thinking in Psychlogy at University of Oregon.
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Date Created: 02/14/16
Ch.7 Likelihood and UncertaintyUnderstanding Probabilities ● Probabilistic Nature of the World ○ We can never be 100% certain ■ When making a decision, judges must make a decision based on “beyond a reasonable doubt” ○ Probability: study of the likelihood and uncertainty ■ medical treatments ■ Critical Thinking requires understanding the probability of the world ■ If we train ourselves in understanding probability we have a likelier chance of being able to utilize the skills in different areas ■ Measures the number of ways a particular outcome can occur divided by the number of possible outcomes ● measure of how often we expect something to occur in the long run ○ Odds ■ “the odds that something will happen” ■ To determine how probable something is from odds: add two numbers given and then use the first number as the numerator and the total as the denominator ○ Laws of Chance ■ laws of probability ■ the ability to predict the number of percentage of trials on which a particular outcome will occur ■ Can be accurate in how many trials will produce a particular outcome but will not know which trials will give the specific outc me ○ Degrees of Belief ■ Probability is used to express the strength of a belief about likelihood of an outcome ■ Has to do with how confident a person is in a situation ■ Our personal beliefs tend to interfere with our confidence; need to think purely statistically ● Factors Affecting Judgements about Likelihood and Uncertainty ○ Everyday experiences are based on “short run” rather than long run observations ○ Search for Meaning ■ makes it hard to examine chance and accept that there are things out of our control ○ Overconfidence ■ The overconfidence phenomenon: tendency for people to be more confident in their judgements of probability than the objective probability values allow ■ Experts tend to underestimate how often their predictions are actually wrong ● Using Probability ○ Number of instances in which we are given explicit probability values that have been computed for us is relatively small ○ People are influenced by the way in which information is presented to them specifically when it comes to statistical data ○ Computing Probabilities in Multiple Outcome Situations ■ occurs with the probability of two or more events occurring ■ Using tree diagrams ● The AND rule ○ used when you want to find the probability of one event and another event ■ multiply their separate probabilities ● The OR rule ○ used when you want to find the probability of two or more different outcomes ■ add the different probabilities ■ outcomes must be mutually exclusive or if one occurs then the other cannot ● AND and OR rule can only be used when events are independent ○ when occurrence of one does not influence the occurrence of the other ■ Conjunction Error Applying the AND rule ● Conjunction error error of believing that the occurrence of two events is more likely than the occurrence of one of them ○ probability of two uncertain events both occurring cannot be greater than the probability of just one of them occurring ● When people see the word AND they automatically believe that the two events are related ■ Cumulative Risks Applying the “OR” rule ● Cumulative Probability: Probability of an event occurring over multiple trials ● Important to recognize that in determining risk, it is important to understand whether the value being given is per unit of time and how cumulative risks increase with repeated exposure ○ cumulative risks are greater than one time risks ● Expected Values ○ the amount of money you would expect to win on a bet if you continued playing over and over ■ depends on what happens in the long run ○ EV= probability of a win x the value of a win + probability of a loss x value of a loss ● Subjective Probability ○ personal estimates of the likelihood of events ■ can be wrong in two different ways ● Subjective estimate or one’s best guess of probability of an even ● Affective forecasting: refers to our ability to predict how we'll feel about an event ○ people are not good at predicting future feelings ○ Objective Probability: mathematically determined statement of likelihood about known frequencies ○ BaseRate Neglect ■ Base rate: initial or priori probabilities ■ where people overestimate the probability of two or more uncertain events occurring ○ Gambler’s Fallacy ■ mistaken belief that chance events are selfcorrecting ● belief that because an event has not yet occurred, it becomes more likely ● Making Probabilistic Decisions ○ Combining information to make predictions ■ Need to consider the failure rate ■ People overestimate success when base rates are low and underestimate success when base rates are high ○ Thinking with Frequencies ■ Frequencies allow people to have a better understanding of the outcomes ○ The problem of false positives ■ People are more likely to believe in something if they know someone who has been part of such a situation ■ Problem lies in the fact that with a low base rate, there will a lot of false negatives as well as false positives ○ Non Regressive judgements ■ Regression toward the mean: in other words, although someone may perform above average one time, the next time they are more likely to perform average ● Risk ○ If an event is frequent, then its occurrence is highly probable ○ To determine risk of a disastrous event, need to consider frequency ○ Publicized events and those that are well known are more common to be thought of and thus tend to bias judgements of frequency ○ Assessing Risk ■ examine historical data ■ to assess new technology that has no historical data look at the events independently by calculating the risk of separate components and multiply them along the branches of a decision tree ■ Calculate risk by analogy ○ Biases in Risk Assessment ■ When risks are voluntary, it is perceived to be less risky ■ Natural risks are less hazardous than artificial ones ■ Memorial events in which a big group of people are harmed at once are perceived as riskier than smaller events ● Statistical Use and Abuse ○ Sample: portion of the population ○ Number calculated on a sample of people: statistic ○ Biased samples: when samples are not representative of the population ■ does not provide accurate information ○ Averages are also called measures of central tendency ■ medians are another example ○ Precision ○ Significant Differences ■ statistical procedures are used to determine if a difference computed on two or more samples is likely to have happened by chance ● If it is very unlikely to be a chance occurrence it is considered a significant difference ○ Extrapolation: occurs when a value is estimated by extending some known values ■ can be wrong Ch. 8 Decision Making: It is a matter of Choice ● Making Sound Decisions ○ People make better decisions after understanding critical thinking ○ Framework for Decision Making ■ Decision making, problem solving, and creative thinking interlap ■ Decision making: when task requires the decision maker to select the best alternative from among several possibilities ■ problem solving: when the task requires the problem solver to generate alternatives ■ To decide a task, need to consider when the task requires the generation of alternatives or the selection of alternatives ■ Decisions are are creative when the are unusual or effective ■ Steps ● Realization that a decision is needed to be made ● Generate alternatives that would satisfy a goal that is implied by the decision ○ Choose the best alternative ● Has some uncertainty because you don't know in advance consequences of our actions ■ Personal values have a strong influence on way that a decision is phrased, alternatives that are generated, and way they are evaluated ○ Good Decisions and Subjective Utility ■ Quality of a decision needs to be judged on the basis of what was known or should have been known at the time the decision was made ■ Good decisions can have bad outcomes and bad decisions can have good outcomes ■ In making a decision we need to consider probabilities of success, costs, and benefits as well as weigh our personal values ● Subjective utility: refers to the value of a particular choice to an individual ■ Objective criterion for a good decision is that it has high subjective utility for the person making the decision ■ There are alternative ways of formulating what the decision requires, and some formulations will result in more favorable outcomes than others ○ Descriptive and Prescriptive Processes ■ Descriptive: program that is designed to help people make better decisions and thus needs to take into account what typically is right and wrong with most decisions ■ Prescriptive: provides a systematic way of eliminating or reducing common errors while increasing these processes that underlie good decisions ■ Search and inference stages ● Search: generate alternatives and when we decide what constitutes a good decision ● Inference: the kinds of judgements that are made and the way information is used ■ Memory has an effect on decisions ■ Decision making is constrained by amount of cognitive effort that is invested in the processes of generation and evaluation ■ Shortcuts can lead to poor decisions ■ We need to be flexible so that the cognitive effort is proportional to the importance of the decision ● Pitfalls and Pratfalls in Decision Making ○ Pitfall: danger or difficulty that is not easily avoided ○ pratfall: when someone falls on their butt ○ Failure to Seek Disconfirming Evidence ■ When presented with a problem we typically try to find things that will agree with what we believe or our confirmation bias ● We are trying to confirm the information even if it is not really there ■ To be successful you need to look for evidence that would both confirm your belief as well as disconfirm it ■ Confirmation bias is a pitfall! ■ Need to be trained to seek and examine data that are inconsistent with the ideas we are considering ● In considering counterevidence we make better decisions ○ Overconfidence ■ decisionmaking pitfall that is related to the bias to seek confirming evidence ■ Many people believe that when people come together in a group they can collectively make a better decision because there is a greater knowledge being introduced ● However, in grouping together, people feel overconfident and fail to recognize other details that could alter the decision ● The group mentality ● Group think or the illusion of invulnerability, myopia, biased selective attention, and overconfidence ○ do not welcome disagreeing opinions and pressure people into thinking a certain way ○ Availability Heuristic ■ heuristics are the rules of thumb that we use to make decisions and solve problems ■ Algorithms are the procedures that always yield the correct answer if you follow it exactly ● used in cognitive economy because it does not take a lot of effort to recall an equation to make life easier ■ Availability is a heuristic ■ Recognition heuristic: when the level of knowledge is low, people decide that towns, teams, or people whose names they recognize are more likely to have positive outcomes than ones they have never heard of ■ Conclusion was made that accuracy in decision making depends on the way questions were asked, what is being compared, and a host of other variables ○ Representative heuristic ■ belief that any member of a category should look like or have traits associated with its category ○ Wishful thinking(pollyanna principle) ■ tendency to believe that pleasant events are more likely than unpleasant ones; if we want something to happen it will ■ Optimism influences how we think and act ■ Good decisions are made when they rely on realistic assessment and consider unpleasant outcomes ○ Entrapment ■ situation in which an individual has already invested money, time or effort and decides to continue in this situation because of the initial investment ■ also called sunk cost because of the importance we attach to the costs that we have already sunk into a course of action ○ Psychological Reactance ■ resistance arising from restriction of freedom ○ Reciprocity ■ a determinant in what and who we like ■ we like people who like us ■ People tend to feel like they owe someone something in exchange for something that was given to them ○ Mere Exposure Effect ■ prior exposure creates a sense of familiarity which in turn can enhance your liking for the stimulus ○ Emotional States ■ our moods may affect the quality of the decisions we make and can also influence the mood of others who will be making decisions that affect us ○ Unconscious Influences ■ need to maintain a general mindfulness of the power of what we do not know and we need to be humble about how rational we actually are ■ decisions can be manipulated without our knowledge ○ Nudging a decision ■ cognitive nudge ● info is arranged in a way that makes it more likely that you will behave in a certain way ○ person is typically aware that this is happening ■ Small changes in way choices are presented can have a large effect on what people decide to do ● Evaluating Consequences ○ Research reduces uncertainty ○ Assessing Desirable and Undesirable Consequences ■ Biased discounting: bias to discount or reduce perceived risk or its probability ● operates with wishful thinking ■ Omission Bias: bias or preference for inaction ● people prefer the risks associated from not acting ○ Elimination by Aspects ■ decision making strategy in which choices are sequentially eliminated if they fail to meet one or more considerations ■ Use of small and relatively inconsequential factors to close a decision is an example of mindfulness ● Preparing a Worksheet ○ Optimization: making the best possible decision in any situation ○ Worksheets require ■ framing decision in clear and concise way ● realization that a decision needs to be made ■ listing many possible alternatives ■ listing relevant considerations that will be affected by the decision ■ determining the relative importance of each consideration ■ mathematically calculating a decision ● 3 strategies ○ overall assessment ■ obtained by determining how well each alternative satisfies the considerations taken as a whole or overall ○ Dimensional Comparison ■ examined to find which alternative has the highest score ■ takes a longer amount of time ○ ⅔ Ideal Rule ■ requires decisionmaker to calculate overall assessment total for perfect or ideal alternative ■ A best alternative may not be good enough if it fails to measure up to ⅔ of an ideal solution ■ Good enough alternatives are called satisficing ● PostDecision Commitment and Evaluation ○ Cognitive Dissonance ■ idea that people like their ideas and beliefs to be consistent and when they are not, this causes dissonance or an unpleasant feeling ■ only applies when a conscious decision has been made ○ Footinthedoor ■ If people agree to a small request they are more likely to agree to a larger request later ● People are more willing to agree to an inconvenient or costly request when it follows a small or less costly request that is inconsistent with the larger one ○ Perspective Taking ■ In making a decision need to consider the other side’s perspective ○ Hindsight and Forethought ■ Hindsight ● reevaluation of a decision after it has been made and its consequences have occurred with the belief that the consequences should have been known before the decision was made ○ following the decision there is a sense of certainty ○ distorts our memory for events that occurred at time of the decision so that the actual consequences seems to have been a forgone conclusion ■ Forethought ● there should be fewer unfortunate consequences if decisions are carefully thought out before they are made ● in the beginning there is doubt and deliberation
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