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Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 197–220 | Cite as

Selective hypothesis testing

  • David M. SanbonmatsuEmail author
  • Steven S. Posavac
  • Frank R. Kardes
  • Susan P. Mantel
Article

Abstract

A diverse set of biases that have been found to characterize judgment may be similarly mediated by a process of selective hypothesis testing. Our paper begins with a definition of selective hypothesis testing and an explanation of how and when this process leads to error. We then review a diverse and often disconnected set of findings in the person perception, judgment, cognition, attitudes, attribution, and rule discovery literatures that can be explained by this process. Finally, we examine the question of why the selective testing of hypotheses occurs. Although the psychological literature suggests that selective hypothesis testing contributes to a variety of errors, in many contexts it may be a useful and efficient strategy that leads to satisfactory judgment.

Keywords

Journal ofExperimental Psychology Contingent Valuation Fault Tree Experimental Social Psychology Hindsight Bias 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Sanbonmatsu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Steven S. Posavac
    • 1
  • Frank R. Kardes
    • 2
  • Susan P. Mantel
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake City
  2. 2.University of CincinnatiCincinnati
  3. 3.University of ToledoToledo

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