Two sides of the same coin: Information processing style and reverse biases

Shahar Ayal, Guy Hochman, Dan Zakay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the effect of information processing styles (indexed by the Rational-Experiential Inventory of Pacini & Epstein, 1999) on adherence to bias judgments, and particularly to reverse biases; i.e., when two choice questions that comprise identical normative components are set in different situations and yield seemingly opposite behavioral biases. We found consistent evidence for a negative correlation between rational score and adherence to reverse biases, as well as overall biases, for all three pairs of reverse biases tested. Further, this effect of rational thinking was more pronounced for high experiential individuals, in that high-rational and high-experiential participants committed fewer biases than all other participants. These results lend weight to our claim that low-rational individuals, who are more sensitive to the context, are more prone to utilize some attribute of the provided information when it is uncalled for, but at the same time tend to ignore it or give it too little weight when it is a crucial factor in a normative decision process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-306
Number of pages12
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive bias
  • Individual differences
  • Rational-Experiential Inventory


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