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ERIC Number: EJ827120
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 88
ISSN: ISSN-0033-295X
Pseudocontingencies: An Integrative Account of an Intriguing Cognitive Illusion
Fiedler, Klaus; Freytag, Peter; Meiser, Thorsten
Psychological Review, v116 n1 p187-206 Jan 2009
The term "pseudocontingency" (PC) denotes the logically unwarranted inference of a contingency between 2 variables X and Y from information other than pairs of x[subscript i], y[subscript i] observations, namely, the variables' univariate base rates as assessed in 1 or more ecological contexts. The authors summarize recent experimental evidence showing that PCs can play a pivotal role in many areas of judgment and decision making. They argue that the exploitation of the informational value of base rates underlying PCs offers an alternative perspective on many phenomena in the realm of adaptive cognition that have been studied in isolation so far. Although PCs can lead to serious biases under some conditions, they afford an efficient strategy for inductive inference making in probabilistic environments that render base-rate information, rather than genuine covariation information, readily available. (Contains 7 figures, 2 tables and 7 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A