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Mem Cognit. 2017 Jul;45(5):776-791. doi: 10.3758/s13421-017-0689-0.

Use of the recognition heuristic depends on the domain's recognition validity, not on the recognition validity of selected sets of objects.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, D-68131, Mannheim, Germany. pohl@psychologie.uni-mannheim.de.
2
Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, D-68131, Mannheim, Germany.
3
Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
4
Cognitive Psychology Laboratory, University of Koblenz-Landau, Koblenz-Landau, Germany.

Abstract

According to the recognition-heuristic theory, decision makers solve paired comparisons in which one object is recognized and the other not by recognition alone, inferring that recognized objects have higher criterion values than unrecognized ones. However, success-and thus usefulness-of this heuristic depends on the validity of recognition as a cue, and adaptive decision making, in turn, requires that decision makers are sensitive to it. To this end, decision makers could base their evaluation of the recognition validity either on the selected set of objects (the set's recognition validity), or on the underlying domain from which the objects were drawn (the domain's recognition validity). In two experiments, we manipulated the recognition validity both in the selected set of objects and between domains from which the sets were drawn. The results clearly show that use of the recognition heuristic depends on the domain's recognition validity, not on the set's recognition validity. In other words, participants treat all sets as roughly representative of the underlying domain and adjust their decision strategy adaptively (only) with respect to the more general environment rather than the specific items they are faced with.

KEYWORDS:

Decision making; Recognition heuristic; Recognition validity

PMID:
28188581
DOI:
10.3758/s13421-017-0689-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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