Judgment and Decision Making: Neo-Brunswikian and Process-Tracing Approaches

By Peter Juslin; Henry Montgomery | Go to book overview

upon task, and or method, conditions, which certainly seems to be the case. Indeed, Juslin and Olsson report that the change from half-range to full-range formats produces the astounding result that there can be simultaneous over- and underconfidence depending on the assessment format"(!). (Therefore I am troubled by the sensitivity of the results to what Juslin and Olsson call the "idiosyncrasies in the methods and scales used for the overt response elicitation."

Of course, I may be wrong to be troubled about this; after all, the authors present a strong case for the soundness of their conclusions. Juslin and his colleagues have an explanation for this, and it lies in what I regard as an heroic combination of Brunswikian and Thurstonian views of probability. But I believe they went in the wrong direction; that is, they went inside the organism rather than outside. Indeed, their entire approach seems to favor interior explanations rather than exterior ones, as a Brunswikian effort would require. Going inside always seems to result in a plethora of explanations piled on top of one another. The collapse of learning theory derived from running rats in mazes, as well as well as Lewinian theory, offer examples.


SUMMARY

Sweden should be proud of its psychologists and their accomplishments. The chapters that I have reviewed demonstrate clearly that their psychologists are in the forefront of the research community; indeed, they may well be ahead of their time. I have done my best to be critical, for the reason that first-rate work deserves first-rate criticism. I have tried to follow Karl Popper's dictum that one should direct criticism at an author's strongest points. That is why I have addressed the central issue in these papers, the question of the theory of the tasks they have employed, for it is in this area I believe they lead the world.


REFERENCES

Bar-Hillel M. ( 1980). The base-rate fallacy in probability judgments. Acta Psychologica, 44, 211-233.

Björkman M. ( 1962). "On learning to predict events". Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 3, 233-240.

Björkman M. ( 1965). "Studies in predictive behavior: Explorations into predictive judgments based on functional learning and defined by estimation, categorization, and choice". Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 6, 129-156.

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