According to Legrenzi et al. [Cognition 49 (1993) 37], in making a choice people consider only the alternatives explicitly represented in their mental model of the decision situation. Their idea has found empirical support in the "focusing effect": Individuals focus on the alternatives explicitly stated in the problem context, and do not take into account other possibilities. In their original study, Legrenzi and colleagues considered only one factor to account for the explicit representation of an alternative-i.e., its explicit verbal formulation in the decision problem. Recent theories of relevance and information gain can help articulate their original idea, suggesting that individuals explicitly represent relevant alternatives, whether or not they are explicitly formulated in the decision problem. In three experiments we first replicated Legrenzi et al.'s original experiment, and then showed that the explicit verbal mention of an alternative is neither sufficient nor necessary to focus on it. The results suggest that individuals are able to consider relevant alternatives, even when they are not made explicit in the verbal formulation of a decision problem.

Rethinking the focusing effect in decision making / P. Cherubini, K. Mazzocco, R. Rumiati. - In: ACTA PSYCHOLOGICA. - ISSN 0001-6918. - 113:1(2003), pp. 67-81.

Rethinking the focusing effect in decision making

K. Mazzocco
Secondo
;
2003

Abstract

According to Legrenzi et al. [Cognition 49 (1993) 37], in making a choice people consider only the alternatives explicitly represented in their mental model of the decision situation. Their idea has found empirical support in the "focusing effect": Individuals focus on the alternatives explicitly stated in the problem context, and do not take into account other possibilities. In their original study, Legrenzi and colleagues considered only one factor to account for the explicit representation of an alternative-i.e., its explicit verbal formulation in the decision problem. Recent theories of relevance and information gain can help articulate their original idea, suggesting that individuals explicitly represent relevant alternatives, whether or not they are explicitly formulated in the decision problem. In three experiments we first replicated Legrenzi et al.'s original experiment, and then showed that the explicit verbal mention of an alternative is neither sufficient nor necessary to focus on it. The results suggest that individuals are able to consider relevant alternatives, even when they are not made explicit in the verbal formulation of a decision problem.
decision-making; attention; relevance; mental models
Settore M-PSI/01 - Psicologia Generale
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Cherubini Mazzocco Rumiati 2003.pdf

accesso riservato

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 106.21 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
106.21 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/319974
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 16
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 11
social impact