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Typical Reasoning

People often take shortcuts in problem solving and quickly arrive at answers. Known as heuristics, these

shortcuts may increase the speed of decisions but may also decrease the accuracy of those decisions.

The experiment used in this assignment deals with inaccurate decisions based on the conjunction

fallacy, where people think the chance of two events happening at the same time is greater than just

one event occurring. However, the chance of one event occurring is greater than two events occurring;

hence, the fallacy.

Access the CogLab demonstration Typical Reasoning. Follow the instructions to complete the

demonstration (description and results are included with the assignment). Next, answer the following


For this demonstration, on average, do participants give higher ratings for single events or conjunctions

of events? Based on the demonstration results, did you make your judgments by using objective

probabilities? Why or why not?

What is a stereotype? How do stereotypes relate to the findings of this demonstration?

Respond to the following two situations:

You and two of your coworkers have just interviewed a candidate for a job opening at your law firm.

Your boss asks you what inferences you made about the candidate during the interview. What can you

do to maximize your likelihood of making a correct inference?

John is a young, energetic, muscular, and outgoing individual. Estimate the following for him:

He is tall and likes sports

He is tall, likes sports, and has lots of friends

Write your initial response in 4–5 paragraphs. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.



Typical Reasoning

In general, people give higher ratings for single activities, basically for the typical

activity rather than for the atypical activity. For the two activities or conjunctions, people again

gave higher ratings for the typical rather than for the atypical conjunction.

Based on the demonstration results, I believe I made my judgments by using objective

probabilities. According to the CogLab Experiment background, the probability of two events

occurring has to be less than the probabilities of either of the events happening by themselves

(Francis, Neath, MacKewn, & Goldthwaite, 2003). I also applied the same principle while

making decisions and choosing activities in the twelve cases given in the CogLab experiment. I

mostly chose the most probable typical activity, which was relevant to the information given.

Stereotype can be defined as a fixed or generalized belief about a particular group or

class of people. On example of stereotype is that a “hell’s angel” biker would dress in leather

only (McLeod, 2008). Stereotyping is connected to the above demonstration because in this

experiment I made generalizations or responded according to my previous similar experiences.

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