Framing with words – do we learn from experience?

Juanchich, Marie, Gourdon-Kanhukamwe, Amélie, Riege, Anine and Sirota, Miroslav (2019) Framing with words – do we learn from experience? In: Experimental Psychology Society London Meeting; 03 - 04 January 2019, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Verbal probabilities generate a form of framing called directionality (e.g., a small chance vs. unlikely), which has been shown to impact decision. However, the effect has only been shown with decisions based on descriptions in which participants had little knowledge. In three preregistered experiments (, we tested the directionality effect in a shooting task, in which participants saw the suspect and could experience the outcome of their decisions. In the three experiments, participants first read a prediction (e.g., it is likely that the suspect has a gun) and were then shown the suspect (with a gun or not). Participants had 1 second to decide to shoot or not and receive some feedback. The probability of the suspect having a gun was calibrated onto the probability conveyed in the prediction. Participants made 48 shooting decisions in a 4 (probability magnitude: 28%, 34%, 60%, 80%) x 2 (directionality: positive vs. negative) x 6 (trials) design. Experiment 2 and 3 extended Experiment 1 by testing whether providing less decision-making information (by blurring the image of the suspect) or withholding performance feedback would increase the use of directionality. We will present the results of the experiments and discuss the implications of our findings.

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