Appendix B: Definitions of Selected Cognitive Terms
Action-induced belief. Being persuaded of the validity of a choice as a result of the adoption of that choice or belief. Affect heuristics. When a ‘feeling state’ about the goodness or badness of likely outcomes provides a stimulus to prefer an intuitive approach to judgements rather than a rule-governed approach. Anchoring. When beliefs are attached to an initial value. Bias occurs when anchoring leads to inattentiveness to new evidence or susceptibility to suggestion (see also Reference points). Attribution. The attempt of people to infer causes for the effects observed and preference for causal data over diagnostic data of equal information. Attribution bias leads to over-prediction from uncertain data. Availability. People evaluate probability by the ease with which instances or occurrences can be brought to mind. Bias occurs when the memorable example is unrepresentative. Categorisation. The use of sets of instances for processing or screening information. Bias can arise through failure to make cross-comparisons with other categories or to check whether the information belongs within the set. Confirmatory bias. When evidence is filtered though a pre-existing hypothesis, leading to selective scrutiny of the evidence, the misreading of evidence, the treatment of ambiguous evidence as confirmatory of the preexisting hypothesis and to the polarisation of views. Credulity risk. The failure to take account of the incentives of another to manipulate information. Discounting bias. When short-term preferences are not consistent with long-term preferences. 219 M2466 - VIBERT PRINT.indd 219 15/12/2010 08:09 220 Democracy and dissent Framing. Refers in general to the extreme...
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