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ERIC Number: EJ1007404
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Development of Heuristic Bias Detection in Elementary School
De Neys, Wim; Feremans, Vicky
Developmental Psychology, v49 n2 p258-269 Feb 2013
Although human reasoning is often biased by intuitive heuristics, recent studies have shown that adults and adolescents detect the biased nature of their judgments. The present study focused on the development of this critical bias sensitivity by examining the detection skills of young children in elementary school. Third and 6th graders were presented with child-friendly versions of classic base-rate problems in which a cued heuristic response could be inconsistent or consistent with the base rates. After each problem children were asked to indicate their subjective response confidence to assess their bias detection skills. Results indicated that 6th graders showed a clear confidence decrease when they gave a heuristic response that conflicted with the base rates. However, this confidence decrease was not observed for 3rd graders, suggesting that they did not yet acknowledge that their judgment was not fully warranted. Implications for the development of efficient training programs and the debate on human rationality are discussed. (Contains 6 figures and 5 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 - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A