Fast and frugal versus regression models of human judgement

Thinking and Reasoning 7 (1):5 – 27 (2001)
Following Brunswik (1952), social judgement theorists have long relied on regression models to describe both an individual's judgements and the environment about which such judgements are made. However, social judgement theory is not synonymous with these compensatory, static, structural models. We compared the characterisations of physicians' judgements using a regression model with that of a non-compensatory process model (called fast and frugal). We found that both models fit the data equally well. Both models suggest that physicians use few cues, that they disagree among themselves, and that their stated cue use is discrepant with the models' stated cue use. However, the fast and frugal model is easier to convey to physicians and is also more psychologically plausible. Implications for how social judgement theorists conceptualise the process of vicarious functioning are discussed.
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