Compatibility in Cognition and Decision

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the experimental study of decision making, which has developed in parallel with the field of cognitive psychology. The chapter emphasizes the role of human information processing in describing the ways in which people arrive at their decisions. Of particular interest are explanatory psychological principles that relate the characteristics of the tasks and stimuli under study to the ways in which people interpret and code the information and generate a response. Performance on complex manual tasks, for example, requires that the stimulus be efficiently coded and an appropriate action produced; successful communication requires that incoming information be appropriately interpreted and the response efficiently translated into an outgoing message; decision making requires that options be appropriately evaluated to lead to the formulation of a distinct choice. The chapter discusses the notion of stimulus-response compatibility, central to work in perception and motor performance. It reviews scale compatibility, particularly as it relates to persistent discrepancies between judgment and choice, known “preference reversal phenomena.” There is also a review of the semantic compatibility, which is seen to influence human performance in tasks ranging from choice and social judgment to visual estimation tasks and judgments of similarity. Some remarks about confirmation bias and a discussion regarding the normative and prescriptive implications of the aforementioned studies are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-274
Number of pages28
JournalPsychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Compatibility in Cognition and Decision'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this