Lay persons' sensitivity to statistical information: The case of high perceived applicability

Arie W. Kruglanski, Nehemia Friedland, Ettie Farkash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Six experimental studies were conducted to test the notion that lay persons are insensitive to statistical information when they are in the presence of individuating information allowing judgment by representativeness. Ss were 174 Israeli undergraduates and 259 members of the Israel Defense Forces. Two experiments examined the effects of reliability information on the regressiveness of predictions and on judgmental confidence. Two additional experiments examined the effects on confidence of informational redundancy. The final 2 studies examined Ss' capacity to reason in accordance with the notion of statistical information when its situational applicability is made apparent. On the basis of this and previous evidence, it is concluded that statistical rules seem to be used in accordance with the same rules that govern the use of nonstatistical rules, such as the "representativeness" rule and other rules of various contents. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-518
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1984


  • military personnel
  • redundancy &
  • reliability information &
  • situational applicability, use of statistical information in making judgments, college students &


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