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ERIC Number: EJ921381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-0033-295X
Rational Learning and Information Sampling: On the "Naivety" Assumption in Sampling Explanations of Judgment Biases
Le Mens, Gael; Denrell, Jerker
Psychological Review, v118 n2 p379-392 Apr 2011
Recent research has argued that several well-known judgment biases may be due to biases in the available information sample rather than to biased information processing. Most of these sample-based explanations assume that decision makers are "naive": They are not aware of the biases in the available information sample and do not correct for them. Here, we show that this "naivety" assumption is not necessary. Systematically biased judgments can emerge even when decision makers process available information perfectly and are also aware of how the information sample has been generated. Specifically, we develop a rational analysis of Denrell's (2005) experience sampling model, and we prove that when information search is interested rather than disinterested, even rational information sampling and processing can give rise to systematic patterns of errors in judgments. Our results illustrate that a tendency to favor alternatives for which outcome information is more accessible can be consistent with rational behavior. The model offers a rational explanation for behaviors that had previously been attributed to cognitive and motivational biases, such as the in-group bias or the tendency to prefer popular alternatives. (Contains 4 figures and 9 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A