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Component probabilities and the conjunction fallacy: Resolving signed summation and the low component model in a contingent approach

Fisk, John E and Pidgeon, Nicholas Frank 1996. Component probabilities and the conjunction fallacy: Resolving signed summation and the low component model in a contingent approach. Acta Psychologica 94 (1) , pp. 1-20. 10.1016/0001-6918(95)00048-8

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Abstract

This study investigates the conflicting implications of the low component and signed summation explanations for the conjunction fallacy. Error data across three different conjunction types replicate the pattern found by Yates and Carlson (1986), but the results also reveal, consistent with the predictions of the low component model, that for conjunctions of an unlikely event with a likely event (LU) the unlikely component is given disproportionate weight by subjects. However, this result did not generalise to conjunctions of an unlikely with an unlikely event (UU), nor to those involving a likely with a likely (LL). The combined results show the conjunction fallacy is highly sensitive to task characteristics, and suggests the need for a more contingent explanation of the phenomenon. We argue that the low component model and signed summation are both compatible within a process-based explanation that distinguishes between problem structuring and conjunction evaluation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: Conjunction fallacy; Signed summation; Heuristics
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0001-6918
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2013 10:29
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/34386

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Cited 17 times in Web of Science. View in Web of Science.

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