Cognitive Psychology provides student readers with essential help with all aspects of their first course in cognitive psychology, including advice on revising for exams, preparing and writing course assessment materials, and enhancing and progressing their knowledge and skills in line with course requirements in cognitive psychology.

Judgements and Decision Making

Judgements and decision making

Core Areas

  • Anticipated regret
  • Availability heuristic
  • Base rate information
  • Bayes' theorem
  • Conjunction fallacy
  • Decision making
  • Framing
  • Judgements
  • Loss aversion
  • Omission bias
  • Perceived justification
  • Posterior odds
  • Prior odds
  • Representativeness heuristic
  • Sunk-cost effect
  • Utility theory

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this chapter you should be able to;

  • define the key terms and theories involved in this topic;
  • understand that judgements are made on the basis of probabilities, including the use of prior and posterior odds and base rate information, the representativeness and availability heuristics;
  • use the set tasks to research the supporting evidence for these concepts and thus evaluate their usefulness; and
  • understand that decision making can be accounted for by utility theory but affected by loss aversion, the sunk-cost effect, framing, perceived justification, anticipated regret and self-esteem.

Running Themes

  • Ecological validity
  • Experimental cognitive psychology
  • Gestalt psychology
  • Rehearsal
  • Schema
  • Semantics


Judgements involve looking at the conclusions we draw on ...

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