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Does causal knowledge help us be faster and more frugal in our decisions?

Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Wallin, Annika LU and Dieckmann, Anja (2007) In Memory & Cognition 35(6). p.1399-1409
Abstract
One challenge that has to be addressed by the fast and frugal heuristics program is how people manage to select, from the abundance of cues that exist in the environment, those to rely on when making decisions. We hypothesize that causal knowledge helps people target particular cues and estimate their validities. This hypothesis was tested in three experiments. Results show that when causal information about some cues was available (Experiment 1), participants preferred to search for these cues first and to base their decisions on them. When allowed to learn cue validities in addition to causal information (Experiment 2), participants also became more frugal (i.e., they searched fewer of the available cues), made more accurate decisions,... (More)
One challenge that has to be addressed by the fast and frugal heuristics program is how people manage to select, from the abundance of cues that exist in the environment, those to rely on when making decisions. We hypothesize that causal knowledge helps people target particular cues and estimate their validities. This hypothesis was tested in three experiments. Results show that when causal information about some cues was available (Experiment 1), participants preferred to search for these cues first and to base their decisions on them. When allowed to learn cue validities in addition to causal information (Experiment 2), participants also became more frugal (i.e., they searched fewer of the available cues), made more accurate decisions, and were more precise in estimating cue validities than was a control group that did not receive causal information. These results can be attributed to the causal relation between the cues and the criterion, rather than to greater saliency of the causal cues (Experiment 3). Overall, our results support the hypothesis that causal knowledge aids in the learning of cue validities and is treated as a meta-cue for identifying highly valid cues. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Memory & Cognition
volume
35
issue
6
pages
1399 - 1409
publisher
Psychonomic Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000250560100019
  • scopus:35748967882
ISSN
1532-5946
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
05cb514b-61fd-4f1b-9c98-ec50e30285a9 (old id 653061)
alternative location
http://docserver.ingentaconnect.com/deliver/connect/psocpubs/0090502x/v35n6/s19.pdf?expires=1197028137&id=41136194&titleid=1017&accname=Lund+University+Libraries&checksum=A37A97A04C0E9B98D78E1E1C2D355DBA
date added to LUP
2007-12-07 12:19:31
date last changed
2017-04-02 03:36:59
@article{05cb514b-61fd-4f1b-9c98-ec50e30285a9,
  abstract     = {One challenge that has to be addressed by the fast and frugal heuristics program is how people manage to select, from the abundance of cues that exist in the environment, those to rely on when making decisions. We hypothesize that causal knowledge helps people target particular cues and estimate their validities. This hypothesis was tested in three experiments. Results show that when causal information about some cues was available (Experiment 1), participants preferred to search for these cues first and to base their decisions on them. When allowed to learn cue validities in addition to causal information (Experiment 2), participants also became more frugal (i.e., they searched fewer of the available cues), made more accurate decisions, and were more precise in estimating cue validities than was a control group that did not receive causal information. These results can be attributed to the causal relation between the cues and the criterion, rather than to greater saliency of the causal cues (Experiment 3). Overall, our results support the hypothesis that causal knowledge aids in the learning of cue validities and is treated as a meta-cue for identifying highly valid cues.},
  author       = {Garcia-Retamero, Rocio and Wallin, Annika and Dieckmann, Anja},
  issn         = {1532-5946},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1399--1409},
  publisher    = {Psychonomic Society},
  series       = {Memory & Cognition},
  title        = {Does causal knowledge help us be faster and more frugal in our decisions?},
  volume       = {35},
  year         = {2007},
}