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From Perception to Preference and on to Inference: An Approach–Avoidance Analysis of Thresholds
Shenghua Luan; Lael J. Schooler; Gerd Gigerenzer
First AuthorShenghua Luan
Correspondent Emailshluan@mpibberlin.mpg.de
2014
Source PublicationPsychological Review
ISSN0033-295X
Subtypearticle
Volume121Issue:3Pages:502-525
QuartileQ1
Abstract

In a lexicographic semiorders model for preference, cues are searched in a subjective order, and an alternative is preferred if its value on a cue exceeds those of other alternatives by a threshold , akin to a just noticeable difference in perception. We generalized this model from preference to inference and refer to it as -inference. Unlike with preference, where accuracy is difficult to define, the problem a mind faces when making an inference is to select a  that can lead to accurate judgments. To find a solution to this problem, we applied Clyde Coombs’s theory of single-peaked preference functions. We show that the accuracy of -inference can be understood as an approach–avoidance conflict between the decreasing usefulness of the first cue and the increasing usefulness of subsequent cues as  grows larger, resulting in a single-peaked function between accuracy and . The peak of this function varies with the properties of the task environment: The more redundant the cues and the larger the differences in their information quality, the smaller the . An analysis of 39 real-world task environments led to the surprising result that the best inferences are made when  is 0, which implies relying almost exclusively on the best cue and ignoring the rest. This finding provides a new perspective on the take-the-best heuristic. Overall, our study demonstrates the potential of integrating and extending established concepts, models, and theories from perception and preference to improve our understanding of how the mind makes inferences.

 

Keywordsimple heuristics lexicographic semiorders take-the-best single-peaked function ecological rationality
DOI10.1037/a0037025
Language英语
Citation statistics
Cited Times:15[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.psych.ac.cn/handle/311026/32014
Collection中国科学院心理研究所
AffiliationMax Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Shenghua Luan,Lael J. Schooler,Gerd Gigerenzer. From Perception to Preference and on to Inference: An Approach–Avoidance Analysis of Thresholds[J]. Psychological Review,2014,121(3):502-525.
APA Shenghua Luan,Lael J. Schooler,&Gerd Gigerenzer.(2014).From Perception to Preference and on to Inference: An Approach–Avoidance Analysis of Thresholds.Psychological Review,121(3),502-525.
MLA Shenghua Luan,et al."From Perception to Preference and on to Inference: An Approach–Avoidance Analysis of Thresholds".Psychological Review 121.3(2014):502-525.
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