Tests of economic theory often focus on choice outcomes and find significant individual differences in these outcomes. This variability may mask universal psychological processes that lead to different choices because of differences across cultures in the information people have available when making decisions. On this view, decision making research within and across cultures must focus on the processes underlying choice.
Pothos suggests dispensing with the distinction between rules and similarity, without defining what is meant by either term. We agree that there are problems with the distinction between rules and similarity, but believe these will be solved only by exploring the representations and processes underlying cases purported to involve rules and similarity.
Tests of a universal theory often find significant variability and individual differences between cultures. We propose that descriptivism research should focus more on cultural and individual differences, especially those based on motivational factors. Explaining human thinking by focusing on individual difference factors across cultures could provide a parsimonious paradigm, by uncovering the true causal mechanisms of psychological processes.
We suggest that the linguistic characteristics of letters also need to be considered to fully understand how a reader processes printed words. For example, studies in Korean showed that unambiguity in the assignment of letters to their appropriate onset, vowel, or coda slot is one of the main sources of the letter-transposition effect. Indeed, the cognitive system that processes Korean is tuned to the structure of the Korean writing system.
Different aspects of people's interactions with money are best conceptualized using the drug and tool theories. The key question is when these models of money are most likely to guide behavior. We suggest that the Drug Theory characterizes motivationally active uses of money and that the Tool Theory characterizes behavior in motivationally cool situations. (Published Online April 5 2006).
Pickering & Garrod (P&G) suggest that communicators synchronize their processing at a number of linguistic levels. Whereas their explanation suggests that representations are being compared across individuals, there must be some representation of all conversation participants in each participant's head. At the level of the situation model, it is important to maintain separate representations for each participant. At other levels, it seems less crucial to have a separate representation for each participant. This analysis suggests that different mechanisms may synchronize representations (...) at different linguistic levels. (shrink)