The effects of base rates and individuating information on judgments about another person

Zvi Ginosar, Yaacov Trope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Past research suggests that in judging a person's category membership, people largely ignore the population frequency of membership in the category (base rates) in favor of individuating information about the particular person. This study tested the hypothesis that base rates will be utilized to the extent that the usefulness of the individuating information for diagnosing category membership is diminished. Subjects were given problems in which both base rates of membership in each of two categories and individuating information about a target person were presented. Then, in each case, they were asked to assess the probability that the target person belonged to each category. In three sets of problems, the diagnostic usefulness of the individuating information (personality characteristics) was diminished by including individuating information that was either inconsistent or irrelevant, or by increasing the similarity of the two alternative membership categories. In a fourth set of problems, the individualistic information included consistent, relevant personal characteristics and the membership categories were dissimilar. As expected, base rates were used in each of the first three sets of problems but were ignored in the fourth set. The results were interpreted in terms of informational factors that induce a shift away from a habitual, spontaneous reliance on a source of information (e.g., personality traits) for which one has well-developed rules (e.g., intuitive personality theories), and toward a more controlled, deliberate mode of thinking wherein other sources of information (e.g., base rates) are attended to and incorporated into judgment through less frequently used rules (e.g., sampling rules).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-242
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1980

Fingerprint

Personality
human being
source of information
personality theory
personality traits
Research
diagnostic
personality
Population
Thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Cite this

The effects of base rates and individuating information on judgments about another person. / Ginosar, Zvi; Trope, Yaacov.

In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 16, No. 3, 1980, p. 228-242.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{9251e9f8d65f4ab3a8cd72081df75273,
title = "The effects of base rates and individuating information on judgments about another person",
abstract = "Past research suggests that in judging a person's category membership, people largely ignore the population frequency of membership in the category (base rates) in favor of individuating information about the particular person. This study tested the hypothesis that base rates will be utilized to the extent that the usefulness of the individuating information for diagnosing category membership is diminished. Subjects were given problems in which both base rates of membership in each of two categories and individuating information about a target person were presented. Then, in each case, they were asked to assess the probability that the target person belonged to each category. In three sets of problems, the diagnostic usefulness of the individuating information (personality characteristics) was diminished by including individuating information that was either inconsistent or irrelevant, or by increasing the similarity of the two alternative membership categories. In a fourth set of problems, the individualistic information included consistent, relevant personal characteristics and the membership categories were dissimilar. As expected, base rates were used in each of the first three sets of problems but were ignored in the fourth set. The results were interpreted in terms of informational factors that induce a shift away from a habitual, spontaneous reliance on a source of information (e.g., personality traits) for which one has well-developed rules (e.g., intuitive personality theories), and toward a more controlled, deliberate mode of thinking wherein other sources of information (e.g., base rates) are attended to and incorporated into judgment through less frequently used rules (e.g., sampling rules).",
author = "Zvi Ginosar and Yaacov Trope",
year = "1980",
doi = "10.1016/0022-1031(80)90066-9",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "16",
pages = "228--242",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Social Psychology",
issn = "0022-1031",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effects of base rates and individuating information on judgments about another person

AU - Ginosar, Zvi

AU - Trope, Yaacov

PY - 1980

Y1 - 1980

N2 - Past research suggests that in judging a person's category membership, people largely ignore the population frequency of membership in the category (base rates) in favor of individuating information about the particular person. This study tested the hypothesis that base rates will be utilized to the extent that the usefulness of the individuating information for diagnosing category membership is diminished. Subjects were given problems in which both base rates of membership in each of two categories and individuating information about a target person were presented. Then, in each case, they were asked to assess the probability that the target person belonged to each category. In three sets of problems, the diagnostic usefulness of the individuating information (personality characteristics) was diminished by including individuating information that was either inconsistent or irrelevant, or by increasing the similarity of the two alternative membership categories. In a fourth set of problems, the individualistic information included consistent, relevant personal characteristics and the membership categories were dissimilar. As expected, base rates were used in each of the first three sets of problems but were ignored in the fourth set. The results were interpreted in terms of informational factors that induce a shift away from a habitual, spontaneous reliance on a source of information (e.g., personality traits) for which one has well-developed rules (e.g., intuitive personality theories), and toward a more controlled, deliberate mode of thinking wherein other sources of information (e.g., base rates) are attended to and incorporated into judgment through less frequently used rules (e.g., sampling rules).

AB - Past research suggests that in judging a person's category membership, people largely ignore the population frequency of membership in the category (base rates) in favor of individuating information about the particular person. This study tested the hypothesis that base rates will be utilized to the extent that the usefulness of the individuating information for diagnosing category membership is diminished. Subjects were given problems in which both base rates of membership in each of two categories and individuating information about a target person were presented. Then, in each case, they were asked to assess the probability that the target person belonged to each category. In three sets of problems, the diagnostic usefulness of the individuating information (personality characteristics) was diminished by including individuating information that was either inconsistent or irrelevant, or by increasing the similarity of the two alternative membership categories. In a fourth set of problems, the individualistic information included consistent, relevant personal characteristics and the membership categories were dissimilar. As expected, base rates were used in each of the first three sets of problems but were ignored in the fourth set. The results were interpreted in terms of informational factors that induce a shift away from a habitual, spontaneous reliance on a source of information (e.g., personality traits) for which one has well-developed rules (e.g., intuitive personality theories), and toward a more controlled, deliberate mode of thinking wherein other sources of information (e.g., base rates) are attended to and incorporated into judgment through less frequently used rules (e.g., sampling rules).

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0000452479&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0000452479&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/0022-1031(80)90066-9

DO - 10.1016/0022-1031(80)90066-9

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0000452479

VL - 16

SP - 228

EP - 242

JO - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

SN - 0022-1031

IS - 3

ER -