Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Affective and cognitive factors influencing sensitivity to probability information

Figure 2 from Tyszka and Sawicki, 2011.

In risky situations people underweight moderate and large probabilities but overweight rare events. Affect-rich outcomes (those evoking strong emotional reactions), as opposed to affect-poor ones, result in lower sensitivity to intermediate probability variations. In other words, the S-shaped weighting function becomes flatter for affect -rich outcomes.

One of the conclusions of the paper is that experience-based communication format (using a sequence of 100 binary events) , as opposed to frequency based format (by explicitly expressed frequency) also helps flatter the curve.

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