9780805824735

Who Is Rational?: Studies of individual Differences in Reasoning

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780805824735

  • ISBN10:

    0805824731

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 1999-03-01
  • Publisher: Psychology Pres

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Summary

Integrating a decade-long program of empirical research with current cognitive theory, this book demonstrates that psychological research has profound implications for current debates about what it means to be rational. The author brings new evidence to bear on these issues by demonstrating that patterns of individual differences--largely ignored in disputes about human rationality--have strong implications for explanations of the gap between normative and descriptive models of human behavior. Separate chapters show how patterns of individual differences have implications for all of the major critiques of purported demonstrations of human irrationality in the heuristics and biases literature. In these critiques, it has been posited that experimenters have observed performance errors rather than systematically irrational responses; the tasks have required computational operations that exceed human cognitive capacity; experimenters have applied the wrong normative model to the task; and participants have misinterpreted the tasks. In a comprehensive set of studies, Stanovich demonstrates that gaps between normative and descriptive models of performance on some tasks can be accounted for by positing these alternative explanations, but that not all discrepancies from normative models can be so explained. Individual differences in rational thought can in part be predicted by psychological dispositions that are interpreted as characteristic biases in people's intentional-level psychologies. Presenting the most comprehensive examination of individual differences in the heuristics and biases literature that has yet been published, experiments and theoretical insights in this volume contextualize the heuristics and biases literature exemplified in the work of various investigators.

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Conceptualizing Rationality: Some Preliminaries
1(31)
Descriptive, Normative, and Prescriptive Models
3(1)
Pretheoretical Positions on Human Rationality
4(5)
Rationality and Levels of Analysis in Cognitive Science
9(3)
A Framework for the Intentional Level
12(5)
Philosophical Problems at the Intentional Level: Is Human Irrationality Possible?
17(5)
Rationality and Evolution
22(2)
Rationality and Reflective Equilibrium
24(4)
Alternative Explanations for the Normative/Descriptive Gap
28(2)
The Rest of This Book
30(2)
Performance Errors and Computational Limitations
32(21)
Richard F. West
Individual Differences and Performance Errors
32(5)
Individual Differences and Computational Limitations
37(11)
Conclusions Regarding Performance Errors and Computational Limitations
48(5)
The Inappropriate Norm Argument
53(45)
From the Descriptive to the Normative in Reasoning Experiments
56(5)
Putting Descriptive Facts to Work: The Understanding/Acceptance Principle
61(2)
Applying the Right Norms: Clues From Individual Differences
63(5)
Examples of Normative Applications Undermined by the Understanding/Acceptance Principle
68(10)
Noncausal Base Rates
68(6)
The False-Consensus Effect
74(4)
Explicating Normative Rules and the Understanding/Acceptance Principle
78(8)
The Selection Task: Choosing P(D/~H)
79(2)
The Selection Task: Choosing the Base Rate
81(2)
Noncausal Base Rates: The Disease Problem
83(3)
Examination of Other Problems With Controversial Norms
86(6)
Newcomb's Problem
86(2)
The Prisoner's Dilemma
88(4)
Summary of Applications of the Understanding/Acceptance Principle
92(3)
The Argument Evaluation Results and Reflective Equilibrium
95(1)
Conclusion
96(2)
The Problem of Rational Task Construal
98(44)
The Necessity for Principles of Rational Construal
99(4)
Alternative Construals and Problem Framing
103(2)
Evaluating Principles of Rational Construal: The Understanding/Acceptance Principle Again
105(2)
The Disease Problem
107(1)
The Laundry Problem
108(1)
Honoring Sunk Costs
109(6)
Summary of Framing and Sunk Cost Results
115(1)
The Overconfidence Effect in Knowledge Calibration
116(5)
The Conjunction Fallacy
121(6)
The Linda Problem
121(3)
The Job Problem: An Easier Scenario
124(1)
The Student Problem: Frequency Estimation
125(2)
Alternative Construals of Conjunction Problems: A Summary
127(1)
Alternative Construals of the Selection Task
128(5)
Models of Selection Task Performance
133(8)
Conclusions
141(1)
Dual-Process Theories and Evolutionary Adaptation Versus Normative Rationality
142(11)
Interactional Intelligence
143(1)
A Generic Dual-Process Framework
144(4)
Alternative Task Construals: Evolutionary Adaptation Versus Normative Rationality
148(5)
Thinking Dispositions and Decontextualized Reasoning
153(37)
Richard F. West
Walter C. Sa
Beyond Computational Limitations: Systematic Associations Among Reasoning Tasks
154(2)
Beyond Computational Limitations: Systematic Associations With Thinking Dispositions
156(3)
Distinguishing Cognitive Capacities and Thinking Dispositions
156(2)
Levels of Analysis and Thinking Dispositions
158(1)
Thinking Dispositions: An Empirical Study
159(3)
Reasoning Independently of Prior Belief: Thinking Dispositions as Predictors of Argument Evaluation Ability
162(8)
A New Analytic Strategy for Assessing Argument Evaluation Ability
163(7)
Cognitive Decontextualization
170(4)
A Direct Test of the Domain Generality of a Cognitive Decontextualization Skill
174(15)
Summary
189(1)
The Fundamental Computational Bias
190(18)
The Pervasiveness of the Fundamental Computational Bias
193(9)
The Fundamental Computational Bias and Evolutionary Adaptation
202(1)
The Real-World Importance of Cognitive Decontextualization
203(5)
Has Human Irrationality Been Empirically Demonstrated?
208(45)
Performance Errors
209(1)
Computational Limitations
209(2)
Thinking Dispositions and Rational Thought
211(1)
Reversing the Figure and Ground of Competence and Performance
212(4)
Alternative Task Construals: A Pyrrhic Victory for the Panglossians
216(7)
Alternative Task Construals: A Pyrrhic Victory for the Apologists
223(5)
Questionable Task Interpretations
228(3)
Why Normative Rationality Will Not Disappear
231(3)
The Cultural Transmission of Norms and the Malleability of Computational Limitations
234(2)
Education and Normative Rationality
236(2)
Caveats and Clarifications
238(11)
Assumptions Regarding Evolutionary Rationality and System 1 Processes
238(1)
Alternative Interpretations of Relationships With Cognitive Ability
239(2)
The Plausibility of Computational Limitations in Different Types of Tasks
241(1)
Alternative Construal as a Computational Escape Hatch
241(2)
Not All System 1 Overrides Are Efficacious
243(1)
Normative and Evolutionary Rationality and the Rationality and Rationality2 of Evans and Over (1996)
243(1)
Normative Rationality in the Belief Bias Situation: The Knowledge Projection Argument
244(5)
Rationality and Pretheoretical Biases
249(4)
References 253(30)
Author Index 283(10)
Subject Index 293

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