Taking into account the strength of an alternative hypothesis

Craig R. M. McKenzie
1998 Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition  
A common phenomenon in judgment under uncertainty is that alternative hypotheses are underweighted or ignored. This article addresses when and how the strength of the alternative is taken into account when there are 2 hypotheses. A learning manipulation was used to invoke 2 representations of 2 illnesses in a medical diagnosis task. One representation tended to lead to consideration of the alternative when, for example, requesting new information, reporting confidence, and making diagnoses. The
more » ... other representation tended to result in ignoring or underweighting the alternative, but a simple change in how confidence was probed increased consideration of the alternative. Costs and benefits of each representation are discussed. This article is based in part on my doctoral dissertation submitted to the University of Chicago's Department of Psychology. For their guidance, I thank my committee members, Robin Hogarth, Joshua Klayman, William Goldstein, and Lawrence Barsalou. I also gratefully acknowledge helpful comments from
doi:10.1037//0278-7393.24.3.771 fatcat:g5gli3olsjdrhfrpbojlqavhmi