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Conflating Temporal Advancement and Epistemic Advancement: The Progression Bias in Judgment and Decision Making.

Authors
  • Zhou, Haotian1
  • Li, Xilin2
  • Sim, Jessica3
  • 1 ShanghaiTech University, China. , (China)
  • 2 The University of Chicago, IL, USA.
  • 3 Elmhurst College, IL, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Personality & social psychology bulletin
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2019
Volume
45
Issue
11
Pages
1563–1579
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0146167219838542
PMID: 30940010
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

When seeking out the truth about a certain aspect of the world, people frequently conduct several inquiries successively over a time span. Later inquiries usually improve upon earlier ones; thus, it is typically rational to expect the finding of a later inquiry to be closer to the truth than that of an earlier one. However, when no meaningful differences exist between earlier and later inquiries, later findings should not be considered epistemically superior. However, in these cases, people continue to regard findings from later inquiries as closer to the truth than earlier ones. In 10 experiments, when later inquiries conflicted with-but did not epistemically improve upon-earlier ones, participants' global judgments about the truth aligned more with later findings than earlier ones, an effect referred to as progression bias. The liability to progression bias may have severe ramifications for the well-being of the society and its members.

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