David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 171 (1):1 - 24 (2009)
In a seminal work, Tversky and Kahneman showed that in some contexts people tend to believe that a conjunction of events (e.g., Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement) is more likely to occur than one of the conjuncts (e.g., Linda is a bank teller). This belief violates the conjunction rule in probability theory. Tversky and Kahneman called this phenomenon the “conjunction fallacy”. Since the discovery of the phenomenon in 1983, researchers in psychology and philosophy have engaged in important controversies around the conjunction fallacy. The goal of this paper is to explore the most important of these controversies, namely, the controversy about the nature of the conjunction fallacy. Is the conjunction fallacy mainly due to a misunderstanding of the problem by participants (misunderstanding hypothesis) or is it mainly due to a genuine reasoning bias (reasoning bias hypothesis)? A substantial portion of research on the topic has been directed to test the misunderstanding hypothesis. I review this literature and argue that a stronger case can be made against the misunderstanding hypothesis. Thus, I indirectly provide support for the reasoning bias hypothesis.
|Keywords||Cogntive psychology Human reasoning Conjunction fallacy|
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References found in this work BETA
L. Jonathan Cohen (1981). Can Human Irrationality Be Experimentally Demonstrated? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (3):317-370.
L. Jonathan Cohen (1977). The Probable and the Provable. Clarendon Press.
Glenn Shafer (1976). A Mathematical Theory of Evidence. Princeton University Press.
Douglas H. Wedell & Rodrigo Moro (2008). Testing Boundary Conditions for the Conjunction Fallacy: Effects of Response Mode, Conceptual Focus, and Problem Type. Cognition 107 (1):105-136.
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Citations of this work BETA
Katya Tentori, Nick Chater & Vincenzo Crupi (2015). Judging the Probability of Hypotheses Versus the Impact of Evidence: Which Form of Inductive Inference Is More Accurate and Time‐Consistent? Cognitive Science 39 (8).
Katya Tentori & Vincenzo Crupi (2012). On the Conjunction Fallacy and the Meaning of and , yet Again: A Reply To. Cognition 122 (2):123-134.
Andrea Polonioli (2012). Gigerenzer's 'External Validity Argument' Against the Heuristics and Biases Program: An Assessment. [REVIEW] Mind and Society 11 (2):133-148.
Martin L. Jönsson & Elias Assarsson (forthcoming). A Problem for Confirmation Theoretic Accounts of the Conjunction Fallacy. Philosophical Studies:1-13.
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