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Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings of Social Judgement

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0134450735
ISBN-10: 0134450736
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall (June 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0134450736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0134450735
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,104,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on December 11, 1995
Format: Paperback
This is a landmark work in the field of social psychology,
but it is also of great interest to a more general
audience.

The subject of the book is how humans think and make
decisions. Since we all do this, and how well we do
this has a considerable impact on our quality of life,
this is one book that I believe should be part of
everyone's education.

The book is written for undergraduate students in
social psychology so it is heavier reading than popular
psychology books, but it is correspondingly more
detailed and informative.
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Format: Paperback
Nisbitt and Ross bring to life the field of judgment and decision making. It is a scholarly analysis of the subject. The book is essential reading for every pschologist, trial lawyer and any other person who must understand how people make judgments and decisions.
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Format: Hardcover
The organization of the book merits a brief introduction. In the initial section (chapters 1 to 3), we introduce the reader to the analogy between the inferential tasks of the layperson or "intuitive scientist" and those of the formal scientist, an analogy that figures heavily in the plan of the book. We then discuss the simplistic but generally helpful cognitive strategies used by the intuitive scientist and show how their overapplication or misapplication can result in the major judgmental or inferential errors. In the middle section (chapters 4 to 8), we deal with specific inferential tasks, from the initial collection and coding of the data, to the testing and revision of informal psychological theories, that people perform so imperfectly. Throughout this section we discuss the formal or "normative" rules of inference of which people sometimes seems ignorant, rules which they understand primarily in particular narrow and familiar contexts or which they understand only in the abstract, without really being able to apply them appropriately and broadly. In the final section (chapters 9 through 12), we first treat two specific issues in more detail: the special case of inferences about oneself and one's own behavior (chapter 9) and the general problem of distinguishing between motivationally based errors and intellectually based ones (chapter 10). Then, in the last two chapters, we cover the personal and social costs of human inferential shortcomings (and the factors limiting such costs), and the possibilities of improving people's inferential strategies.

--- from book's Preface
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Format: Paperback
The authors explore how humans use decision making shortcuts (otherwise referred to as "heuristics"). Over time, humans, according to the authors, humans have developed decision making shortcuts to make decisions in (what another theorist calls) "fast and frugal ways."

Example? "The vividness criterion." Here, we use dramatic examples to shape our decisions. This is otherwise referred to as the "fallacy of the dramatic illustration." People often do not think through whether the dramatic instance is really typical. As a result, they may make decisins on the basis of poor information.

A fine book that sheds light on how we make decisions.
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